Ah, more Henderson: “Every year is the same, every year is the biggest challenge, the biggest season ahead. I feel as hungry as ever.
“I feel as hungry as I did when I first walked in 10 years ago, to prove to people that I deserve to be at this football club and give absolutely everything every single day for the badge, for the fans and for each other in this building.
“If we do that, I feel as though we’ve got a good chance of being successful.”
I wonder if Liverpool have quite enough to win the big pots with a team that peaked three seasons ago, but don’t underestimate the power of their confidence and drive.
Odsonne Edouard looks set to move from Celtic to Palace. That’d be a decent signing, and perhaps explains Edouard’s anaemic showing in the Old Firm game on Sunday. He missed his team’s best chance in that one, but that can happen to anyone – what was surprising was how irrelevant he was to proceedings.
Spurs are still trying to get hold of Adama Traoré, but have been quoted £50m by Wolves. I’m not certain they need him, or at least that his position should be their priority, given they’ve got Gil, Bergwijn, Son, Moura and Lo Celso who can all play wide, but there are few players I enjoy watching more so maybe Nuno just wants to be entertained. That said, I’d much rather watch Traoré under Lage than under him.
Jordan Henderson speaks!
“It’s amazing to finally get it done and just concentrate on looking forward and what the future may hold.
“I’m in a different place of course, as a player and as a person, from when I first walked in. I’ve learned and grown a lot over my time here, and I’ve got to thank a lot of people for that.
“I’ve loved every minute of it, even when I look back at the tough times, I was still enjoying being a part of this football club. The longer I can do that, the better for me really. I want to be here as long as possible, I’ve always said that.
“To continue this journey is incredible for me and my family, and I hope the fans and the club feel the same way.”
You can only admire Henderson, who’s made the absolute most of himself as a player and as a man. You’ve also got to say that he’s a total triumph for Jürgen Klopp, who is incredible at convincing very good players that they’re world-beaters.
But let’s return to Ronaldo footballistically speaking. As a centre-forward playing between the width of the posts, he’s got plenty to offer United, especially given the creative talents of Pogba, Fernandes, Sancho and Shaw, all of whom can provide excellent service. I’m not sure where his arrival leaves Edinson Cavani because Ronaldo’s not getting left out of big games and Cavani can’t play wide. On which point, if Ronaldo is undroppable and over the last few months – not just the last three games – Greenwood has made himself so too, then only one of Rashford and Sancho can get in the side, and that’s before we even wonder if Pogba is now a left-winger. Anyhow send in your thoughts and we’ll take it from there.
Here’s today’s The Rumour Mill.
For anyone interested, these are my detailed thoughts on Ronaldo to United, and also on the non-footballing issues that mean many fans – of the team and of football – are conflicted.
I do struggle a little with the Ronaldo’s coming home narrative, given he left United for his peak years – though I maintain that he was never funner than 2006-07, his last as a full-time right-winger – and is coming back in his dotage. But goodness me, I’m looking forward to seeing him play.
On Ronaldo, it’s not hard to have reservations: can he press, will Solskjær be strong enough to leave him out or take him off, what about Greenwood playing centre-forward – but it’s impossible to miss the upside: proven big-game record, guaranteed goals, inspirational to teammates. He’ll be surrounded by legs and pace, though if his midfield can’t get the ball forward better than in the last couple of games, he’ll have to work hard.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær speaks!
“You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player, but also a great human being. To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person. I have no doubt that he will continue to impress us all and his experience will be so vital for the younger players in the squad. Ronaldo’s return demonstrates the unique appeal of this club and I am absolutely delighted he is coming home to where it all started.”
“Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday. I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”
Cristiano Ronaldo signs for Man United!
A real turn-up for the books, that one.
Jordan Henderson signs a new Liverpool contract until 20205!
It’s nice to see Liverpool getting into the spirit of things by announcing that today. I’m surprised they let Wijnaldum go, but that happening meant they needed to ensure their captain stays.
Morning all and welcome to another deadline day full of done deals, double-swoops, and purple … ok, ok, too soon. I don’t suppose we’ll get quite the vibes of the 2013 classic which featured both the ecstatic desperation of Mesut Özil’s move from Real Madrid to Arsenal and the desperate desperation of Marouane Fellaini’s move from Everton to Man United, but there should still be plenty to keep us in indignity, and we can’t ask for more than that.