The Liverpool skipper has taken his fair share of stick in his career, but is finally showing the world why he is a guaranteed starter for his country

Stuart Pearce believes Jordan Henderson has been more of a leader for England than Harry Kane at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Liverpool captain has enjoyed a wonderful tournament, dictating the Three Lions with and without the ball in a deep-lying midfield role allowing him to utilise his ferocity and passing range to great effect.

Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane are spearheading the Three Lions’ assault in Russia

While many individuals will choose to focus on Golden Boot leader Kane and his accomplishments in Russia, Pearce believes it is the midfielder who should be garnering more attention for his efforts.

Having given him his bow at Under-21 level, the Nottingham Forest and England legend explains just what makes the 28-year-old so vital.

He said: “Harry Kane is the more silent captain; Henderson is the one pointing and telling people from the centre of midfield what they should and shouldn’t do.

“I think he potentially, if you asked the players, they look up to Harry Kane and what he’s done and the goals he has scored, but the influence that Henderson has got will be massive in that group.

Kane may wear the armband, but it is Henderson who is the real leader according to Pearce

Kane may wear the armband, but it is Henderson who is the real leader according to Pearce

“Why was he my captain? Because he is totally selfless to the group – he puts the group before himself and that is a great trait for any captain, any leader.”

Although it may seem incredulous now, there were massive doubts about this England squad heading into the World Cup.

Harry Kane was not deemed to be a suitable leader, whilst Henderson was even being considered for a role as a centre-half.

But, after dispatching Colombia and Sweden en route to their first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990, Pearce believes Henderson epitomises all that is good about this young and hungry squad who continue to prove their doubters wrong.

He added: “When asked the question a few months ago about who should captain England, Kane or Henderson – for me, take your pick.

“For me, either one would do a fantastic job.

“I think both of them give their all to the team as well as for themselves.

“There was question marks about should it be him or Eric Dier going into this tournament, I think he has answered that.”