Jordan Henderson's £20M transfer to Liverpool from Sunderland is being treated with some head-scratching around the country. Many people don't really seeing him as having much value, and are attributing his high price to some sort of ridiculous premium on English players. How much of that is true I don't know, but Sunderland fans seem to think that they're losing a top prospect, and I'm inclined to trust their judgement on this one.
That said, they're not necessarily sad to be seeing Henderson go after he demonstrated that his heart was elsewhere. At SB Nation's Sunderland blog, Roker Report, Simon Walsh is of the opinion that those who don't want to play at Sunderland should be sold, although he is curious as to the ramifications of losing a player who was expected to be a cornerstone of the side for the next decade:
Sure, I'd [have] loved us to hang on to him, and I do believe still Jordan will develop into a fantastic player. I wish it was here, but when all things are considered if he thinks it's elsewhere, off you go. I'd rather we had players who want to stay, and want to play. Jordan has been given ample time in the week to say he'd prefer to stay, and we haven't heard a peep.
It's not quite the same situation, but look at when Wayne Rooney left Everton in his developmental years, they got by and sold when his price was high and he didn't want to be there despite the fandom. They were in the Champions League (briefly) the next season, and have flirted with Europe as they were before and after.
Should we have held on? Thats another story really as we don't know how it would play out. Arsenal have held on to Cesc Fabregas for a few years despite Barcelona's interest, and have suffered a few lacklustre performances whislt his heart isn't entirely there. Luckily for Arsenal they have an abundance of quality players, we however, cannot afford to carry passengers.
It's an interesting connundrum for Sunderland and their fans, but ultimately it's extremely difficult to hold onto a player who absolutely wants to be elsewhere, especially when a more renowned team come calling. Sunderland will just have to hope they can use the funds coming back wisely, a process they've already started with the rumoured chase of Manchester United trio Wes Brown, Darron Gibson and John O'Shea.