Jordan Henderson believes that Liverpool missed out on a great opportunity by not signing Jude Bellingham and thinks they “should have just paid the money.” He also mentioned that FSG (Fenway Sports Group), the owners of Liverpool, “always have a plan.”
The former Liverpool captain disclosed that he attempted to persuade FSG to acquire Bellingham before Real Madrid secured his services for a substantial €103 million (£89 million or $112 million) fee from Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham had been a top target for Liverpool, but they withdrew from the transfer pursuit due to the high costs involved.
Instead, Liverpool signed Alexis MacAllister from Brighton for £35 million ($44m) and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for £60 million ($76m).
However, with Bellingham making a sensational start at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring five goals and providing an assist in just four matches, Henderson expressed his regret that Liverpool didn’t go the extra mile to sign the midfielder.
“They’re not going to go and spend a ridiculous amount of fees and wages on players because it will upset the structure, as much as I tried with certain players in the past!” he said to The Athletic.
“They stick to their principles and it has worked. Maybe not to the owners but you can probably think of certain players that I might have tried for in the past, especially recently! Looking back now, he’s on fire so (laughing) I might have thought we should have just paid the money!”
Nonetheless, Henderson insisted that FSG always “have a plan” and are in control of things so that squad harmony is not disturbed.
“In the end, they have a structure, they have a plan and if it doesn’t fall within that, then they’re not going to change for it. Because it has a knock-on effect,” he said.
“It’s great to sign these amazing players with loads of wages and it’s amazing for everyone. But in the end, you’ll have different players coming in wanting different money, you’ve got players within saying, ‘Well, I want…’. It causes loads of different issues within.
“They always have a plan, always have a strategy and they know what they’re doing. The most important thing is that they care about the club and that’s the biggest thing I would say about them,” he added.
Henderson will link up with Bellingham during the Three Lions’ two upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Ukraine and Scotland on September 8 and 11, respectively.