England midfielder Jordan Henderson has completed a high-profile move from Sunderland AFC to Liverpool FC on the eve of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The 20-year-old joins Liverpool for a fee reported to be in the region of €22m. Henderson has signed what the Merseyside club called a "long-term" contract after completing medical tests before flying out to join Stuart Pearce's England squad in Denmark.
"Obviously it's hard to leave your local club," said the Sunderland academy product, who made 71 Premier League appearances for the Wearsiders. "I'm a Sunderland lad, I've supported them all my life. But I'm really looking forward to the future now and obviously this is a massive opportunity for me. I'm really excited by it. I cannot wait to play at Anfield in front of the Liverpool fans. I'm just excited and I want to get going."
With Henderson's first game as a Liverpool player likely to be England's Group B opener against Spain on Sunday, his U21 manager is pleased the once-capped senior international will have no further distractions at the finals. "If I put myself in their position I would want a deal tied up before I went to a major championship," Pearce said. "I wouldn't want to be worrying about it while I'm at the championship and I think that was their mentality as well."
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