It has been a bad few months for one relentless, unwavering small section of the Liverpool fanbase.

And there's every chance that, come Saturday evening, it will have become even worse.

Few players in Jurgen Klopp's squad stir debate quite like Jordan Henderson.

Forget that the Reds boss consistently bats away suggestions to hand the captain's armband elsewhere.

Forget Liverpool last year handed the 29-year-old a new contract that means he's likely to spend the rest of his top-level career at Anfield.

It's Jordan Henderson. And for some, that means he will never be good enough.

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That's what happens when you're the last remaining reminder of the Brendan Rodgers era, let alone still lingering from the days of the second coming of Kenny Dalglish, who rubber-stamped Henderson's arrival from Sunderland back in the summer of 2010.

The midfielder hadn't yet celebrated his 21st birthday when completing a move costing an initial £16million.

As a consequence, Henderson had to do his growing up on the pitch under the unforgiving glare and persistent scrutiny that comes as part of moving to one of Europe's biggest clubs.

Opinions and beliefs soon became entrenched. And for some, there has been absolutely no shifting from the view the player isn't the type they want to see pulling on a red shirt.

Thankfully, the number has declined rapidly in recent years as Henderson's true value soon emerged, his transfer fee having been repaid several times over.

Incredible to his critics, but it's possible to enjoy the skipper and his midfield colleagues for the different offerings they bring, rather than pit them pointlessly against one another in an unnecessary popularity contest.

Consider this. No player has made more appearances in the Premier League this decade than Henderson at any club, let alone Liverpool.

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Such durability and faith from his managers isn't achieved by accident.

But the real prize, the tangible reward for such endeavour, has come late.

First, gloriously, magnificently, deservedly, Henderson lifted the European Cup in Madrid in June, realising the prediction made by Steven Gerrard nine years earlier that the midfielder could follow in his footsteps.

A few months later, Henderson was gathering pots again, this time getting his hands on the UEFA Super Cup.

And on Saturday the Reds skipper will be hoping to cap a memorable year by clasping the FIFA Club World Cup to confirm Liverpool's position as the best team on the planet.

Flamengo, though, won't be straightforward, a far more difficult proposition than the spiky Monterrey who were eventually despatched on Wednesday.

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That evening underlined why Henderson is so crucial, fitting in as an emergency centre-back with a minimum of fuss given the litany of ailments to all bar Joe Gomez in the heart of defence.

Certainly, it was much more satisfying than his previous World Cup semi-final 18 months previous when he battled on gamely through a hamstring problem before admitting defeat in extra time shortly before Croatia struck to beat England 2-1.

Of course, Liverpool will hope the main event is still to come next May with a 30-year itch desperate to be scratched as they seek a first championship since 1990.

That can wait.

For now, though, Henderson will seek another chance to finesse his now trademark trophy lift – and cement his place in the Anfield annals.