The Liverpool squad share the sense of excitement and anticipation felt by supporters when the club completes new signings, explained Jordan Henderson.
Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota have bolstered Jürgen Klopp’s team this month after agreeing long-term deals to join from Bayern Munich and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively.
They followed left-back Kostas Tsimikas, recruited from Olympiacos in August, as fresh additions to the Premier League champions for 2020-21.
All three have since made their competitive debuts for the Reds and, ahead of potential Anfield bows against Arsenal tonight, the captain revealed how the dressing room is always ready to welcome new faces.
“Being fortunate enough to be a professional footballer doesn’t mean your reaction to certain things in the game isn’t the same as that of a supporter,” Henderson wrote in his official matchday programme notes.
“It’s often maybe overlooked that before any of us fell in love with playing, we all were fans. That never leaves you. I was a supporter before I was a player and I’ll still be a supporter when I finish.
“So, when Liverpool announce a new signing, we in the dressing room aren’t that much different. We get excited – we get caught up in the anticipation – we look forward to seeing them and hearing them for the first time. It does bring fresh energy and a lift.
“And as you know, since the start of this season we have welcomed three new faces to the club.
“Kostas joined first and we got to know him during pre-season. Thiago and Diogo are of course more recent arrivals.
“All three are going to be massively important to us and we are buzzing as a team to welcome them in. We need them and we are delighted they chose to come to us.
“It’s never easy joining a new club. Any player who says it is, isn’t being honest. Again, like any workplace, being the ‘new person’ is exciting but unsettling. For Kostas and Thiago, they also have to contend with this being a new country as well as a new team.
“However, I think one of our strengths as a dressing room is that we make this transition as good and as seamless as it possibly can be. Maybe as captain I get too much credit for this, because the environment we have is created by everyone. It is not – and never is – down to one person. And that’s not just players, either. It’s the staff at the club, the coaches... everyone, really.
“It’s probably one of the things I’m proudest of, when I think about this team and this group of players. Every person in our dressing room, senior or younger, knows they carry a responsibility to help where possible when someone new arrives. Because ultimately it’s about making us better and stronger as a group.
“We can win nothing on our own, achieve nothing by ourselves. We definitely buy in to this mindset and I think it has played a big part in how we’ve progressed and improved.
“What is fantastic about our new arrivals is that they clearly buy in to this also. It is evident from their character and mentality they are as hungry to achieve as we are.
“All three players are exciting acquisitions for us and yet all three have shown how keen they were to come and how appreciative they are to be here. I think as a team and a club we can take pride in the fact we are seen as an environment where ambitious, committed professionals can achieve all they want in the game.”