Former players hail Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson
Shearer says Liverpool midfielder is EPL's best, Aldridge attributes his improvement to Klopp
There are close to four months before the English Premier League season draws to a close, but former England striker Alan Shearer has already backed Jordan Henderson to be crowned the EPL's Player of the Year.
Shearer hailed the performance of the Liverpool captain, following the Reds' 4-0 demolition of Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.
"He was magnificent again today. The way he drove Liverpool forward, the way he kept everything moving, his attitude, his work-rate both attacking and defensively," BBC's Match of the Day pundit said.
"He was magnificent, as he has been all season. What a season he's having, absolutely incredible. Player of the season, definitely.
"When you look at some of their performances, how special Liverpool have been, whether it's the goalkeeper, Virgil van Dijk, or the front three, he, for me, has been the driving force. He's been superb."
Former Reds striker John Aldridge also heaped praise on Henderson, who was recently voted as England's Men's Player of the Year for 2019.
"I remember the cynicism when Henderson took over from Steven Gerrard... whether he was up to the task of leading one of the great clubs in world football," Aldridge said in his column for the Irish Independent.
"Henderson always gave everything to the Liverpool cause, but he was lacking quality in certain areas of his game in his formative days at the club...
"Yet he has grown into the role... and his improvement under manager Juergen Klopp has been so impressive.
"If he can get his hands on the EPL trophy in May, his legacy as one of the all-time great Liverpool captains will be secured."
The EPL title is now the Reds' to lose, after second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson and a brace from Mohamed Salah gave the EPL leaders a 22-point cushion over second-placed Manchester City, ahead of their match with Tottenham Hotspur this morning (Singapore time).
Henderson and his teammates are on the cusp of something special, as the numbers tell of a team in uncharted territory.
Liverpool are on course to emulate Arsenal's 2003-04 "Invincibles" by going a whole season unbeaten and Saturday's 20th successive league home win meant they equalled Man City's record in the EPL era.
Bill Shankly's 1972 Liverpool side, the all-time record holders with 21 straight home wins, could be the next to be eclipsed as Klopp's side look, uniquely, to win every one of their 19 Anfield matches this season. Their run stands at 13.
Man City's 2017-18 record winning tally of 100 points seemed incredible, yet Liverpool could glean 112 by winning their remaining matches.
Their overall unbeaten league streak stretches back for a year over 42 matches and they could conceivably equal Arsenal's 49-match landmark of 2004 at Man City on April 4.
It could even see Liverpool then power on to top the record 19-point championship-winning margin that City themselves had enjoyed over neighbours United in 2018.
"I have no clue how it should feel, but it is not that we are close to something really special," Klopp said.
"The boys have done that now for a while... that's why we have these kind of numbers - but it doesn't feel a second like it's really special. It just feels the hardest work.
"The boys have now a week off and, then, we go again. That's the only thing I know. All the rest, we have to see."