Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson believes he is able to offer something more to the side in an advanced position.
Henderson has been Liverpool’s go-to defensive midfielder in the past few years, having made the transition from a box-to-box player during his early years at Anfield.
He started England’s 5-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday night in this position, before eventually moving deeper in the second half.
Speaking ahead of the Three Lions’ next Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, Henderson admitted he enjoys playing in an attacking role, believing he has the versatility to offer “something different”.
“Over the last couple of years, my role has changed within the team, at Liverpool more. I’ve adapted to that and improved,” he said.
“I can do that role, but prior to that I was a bit more offensive, box to box. I can do both roles.
“I enjoyed being a bit more advanced the other night [against the Czech Republic], and I can contribute in the final third a lot more than I did.
“But I can do the defensive role, the No. 6 role, and be disciplined and protect.
“It’s about what the manager asks me to do. That’s what I focus on. I enjoyed the other night, and I dropped back when Eric was injured.
“I also feel I can be a bit more advanced and give something different in that role as well.”
Henderson has been involved in various cup finals during his time at Liverpool, however he has not tasted victory since a League Cup final victory seven years ago.
The former Sunderland man says defeat in those finals is “definitely an extra motivation” as he looks to make the next step as Reds captain.
“Maybe I had a little taste of it playing in finals but I haven’t really managed to win the big trophies, and now that’s the next step really,” he said.
“I don’t really look at it [the experience] as a benefit for me, I look at it as a benefit for the team more than anything.
“When you’ve got players that have been in that situation before, of experience, big games, semi-finals, finals, big competitions, then it’s good for the team – especially to be able to help the younger lads cope with bigger occasions and give them a little bit of experience on what to expect.
“The more players you have playing in those finals, the better really.”
Henderson is expected to make his 50th England appearance against Montenegro on Monday night, a landmark for any English player.
Whilst he played down the achievement, England manager Gareth Southgate offered his praises, insisting he believes Henderson’s qualities are often down-played.
“Firstly, only 59 players have achieved it, so it’s a relatively small club and a great honour,” Southgate said.
“That requires huge commitment to playing for England, first and foremost. And then, on a personal level, Jordan’s qualities as a player – which I think have been under-appreciated at times – he’s such an important player for us and has been for the last couple of managers.
“Everybody values the fact that he has a winning mentality. Good players make other players play well.
“It’s not just about your own performance, but the impact and effect you have on others. When you’re a leader like he is, that is among his top qualities.”