Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes a move for Jordan Henderson will bring leadership qualities the club have been lacking.
Arsenal’s search for a suitable replacement for Granit Xhaka has reaped no rewards. While the Swiss midfielder’s move to Roma seems to have hit a snag, the Gunners are active in the market for another option. Weeks ago, Jordan Henderson’s name was thrown in the mix, although not many believe such a move could transpire.
Manuel Locatelli and Ruben Neves have been the other names linked, as Mikel Arteta seeks a younger core to his midfield next season. Fans have often called upon the club to bring in leaders in the side, as in the last few seasons, there has been a severe lack of characters in the squad.
David Luiz and Xhaka have long been considered natural leaders, and in their absence, Campbell urged his former club to sign Henderson this summer. The Liverpool captain is reportedly evaluating his options after contractual problems with his current side.
Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on his situation at Liverpool. Those clubs could be perfect for Henderson to further his playing career, although if he wishes to remain in the Premier League, according to Campbell, Arsenal should consider him.
The influential midfielder still has two years to run on his contract, and Liverpool seems to be in no rush to extend his deal. Recently former Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor said the Reds were right to play the waiting game, as there may be no value in extending his contract, nor do the fans have to worry about the whole situation.
Campbell, however, suggests Arsenal should sign him instead to bring back some of the leadership qualities they’d lacked recently. The former striker took a cue from a conversation on the Podcast channel Highbury Squad and evaluated the different needs fans discuss these days while ignoring more logical requirements.
Campbell spoke to Football Insider and suggested that given an option between Henderson and Renato Sanches, fans overwhelmingly chose the Portuguese. He said, “He’d be perfect, 100 per cent. On the podcast [Highbury Squad], we asked the fans whether they would rather sign Henderson or Renato Sanchez, and they all went for Sanchez.
“But we are always moaning about a lack of leadership. Jordan Henderson is there; he’s got all the leadership qualities you could ever want in a captain. And yet they still went for Sanchez. Henderson at Arsenal would be fantastic; there is no doubt in my mind about that at all.”
While there might be some logical sense to what Campbell suggests, Arsenal should ignore these calls and move on with their search for a younger midfielder. Their need is to not cater to very experienced players such as Henderson but to build the squad with stars who represent value for the future.