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“It was difficult to watch” – Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson discusses emotional Anfield…



“It was difficult to watch” – Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson discusses emotional Anfield…

Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were given an emotional send-off at Anfield at Saturday at Liverpool’s game against Aston Villa

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reviews the Aston Villa game

Jordan Henderson has described how ‘difficult’ it was to say goodbye to his departing Liverpool teammates, with four players leaving following the expiry of their contracts at the end of the season.

Anfield paid tribute to the four departing Reds stars following Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, with Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner all leaving when the campaign draws to a close. Firmino marked the occasion by scoring a late equaliser in the match having been brought on as a substitute by Jurgen Klopp during the second-half.

After the match, the Brazilian was in tears before being joined by teammates in a guard of honour led by Henderson. Each departing player made their way through their gathered teammates before being presented with a parting gift by legendary former Reds player and manager Kenny Dalglish.

Henderson has won multiple major honours alongside all four players, with the Champions League and Premier League titles in successive years being a particular highlight. After the match, Henderson described his emotions following what had been an emotional occasion at Anfield.

Henderson said: “It’s hard. They are all close to me so it was really difficult to stand and watch them come through the guard of honour, and receive the reception they did. So of course I’m going to miss them and the rest of the lads will, It’s pretty emotional for me and the team as well.”

Milner and Firmino each made over 300 appearances for Liverpool having joined before Klopp’s arrival in 2015. Both players, alongside Henderson, have been part of a transformative period in the club’s history with the weekend marking the end of an era as it bade farewell to two of its longest serving players.

James Milner was given a guard of honour at his final home match for Liverpool on Saturday



(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images))

Firmino has yet to announce his next move, while Milner is expected to join Brighton next season. After the match, the 37-year-old echoed Henderson’s emotional sentiments regarding the day’s events. He said: “To be fair, I get more emotional talking about the (other) boys. I get more emotional when it’s about other people.

Milner continued: “It’s been amazing how eight years has gone like that. It’s been a special time and the stuff we’ve achieved together, the journey we’ve been on, what we managed to achieve. I wanted to come here and win trophies and have success.

“I’m fortunate now that we’ve managed to achieve what we have and pretty much what you want to achieve when you come here. That doesn’t happen too often, does it?”

Earlier this month, Henderson paid tribute to Milner specifically, explaining the often unsung midfielder’s role in the club’s recent success. He told the Press Association: “A tremendous amount of value to the team. I think the manager said it perfectly in that we wouldn’t have achieved anything without Milly.

“He is such a big character and such a big leader within the team. It will definitely be strange not seeing him at Liverpool next season, he’s been incredible ever since he came to the club.

“He helped me a lot and other players around him and is probably taken for granted a little bit as a player from the outside but from the inside he has got so much respect from all of the players and all of the staff and we wish him all the very best in whatever his next chapter looks like.”

Liverpool are now expected to overhaul their midfield, with three of their most used options in the engine room departing. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton could well be the first addition, with a potential £70 million transfer for the World Cup winner reported to be close to completion.

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