Damien Comolli
Damien Comolli thinks signing Jordan Henderson contributed to his Anfield exit Getty Images

Damien Comolli, the former director of football strategy at Liverpool, has claimed signing Jordan Henderson from Sunderland led to his sacking at Anfield. The Frenchman was dismissed by Liverpool's American owners Fenway Sports Group in 2012 - and has claimed that the big-money move for Henderson was a contributing factor.

According to Comolli, Liverpool's owners did not feel the midfielder represented value for money at the time. Since then, however, he has become Liverpool's captain and replaced Wayne Rooney as the England skipper for their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.

"The day I got sacked they [Liverpool's owners] told me I had made a big mistake on Jordan and he was a waste of money," he told talkSPORT of the Liverpool captain. "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I think we paid the right price.

"He was a young English, British player and we know very often that British players are overvalued. But we were more than happy to pay the price because we thought he would become an outstanding player.

"I never said it publicly, but I was convinced he would be the future captain. People will say it is easy to say now, but I was convinced at the time that he would become the Liverpool captain. Now he is and he is also the England captain."

Comolli said his belief in Henderson was supported by the then-Liverpool manager Danny Dalglish. "I was totally convinced, as was Kenny, that we were doing the right thing for the club," he said of the former Liverpool boss.

"He fitted the profile we were looking for. We knew he was an outstanding person, we knew he had leadership skills, we knew he was totally dedicated to football, to his passion, and we knew he was someone who wanted to improve on a day to day basis. We knew his physical abilities - his fitness stats were absolutely unbelievable."

Comolli said Henderson showed the potential to become a top-class player during his early years at Sunderland. "We were looking at statistics and we were going through a lot of midfield players in the Premier League and what amazed me and caught my eye was his ability to create quality chances," he said.

"For a player who was so young, playing not in a top side, with all due respect to Sunderland, he was producing and creating more quality chances, or least as much, as top quality players in the Premier League."