What we need to be doing is talking about the Spine, of which Henderson is a part of, not Henderson alone. Let's take a look at the top six club's spines:
City: Ederson, Stones, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Aguero/Jesus
United: De Gea, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Lukaku
Spurs: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dembele, Eriksen, Kane
Chelsea: Courtois, Luiz, Kante, Hazard, Morata
Arsenal: Cech, Koscielny, Xhaka, Sanchez, Lacazette
Liverpool: Mignolet, Lovren/Matip, Henderson, Coutinho, Firmino
Nevermind being miles away from the rest of them in terms of points and performances this season, we're miles away from them in terms of quality. How are we meant to compete when we have what is undoubtedly the worst spine of any of the top six clubs? How the hell Klopp thinks this is sufficient quality I will never know. Out of all of those the only player who gets into any of the top six squads is Coutinho. Not a single one of the rest of them is getting near. I know a lot of you like Firmino but bloody hell, he's no where near Lacazette, Morata, Kane, Lukaku or Aguero in terms of quality or natural finishing ability. Henderson, as has been discussed on this thread, appears to have lost the ability to play a long ball and has been reduced to being Mr Sideways.
Lovren is a decent player for a Southampton, as Matip is for Schalke but with respect to those clubs, they're a far cry from where we're trying to get to. Whilst I'll be the first to admit that Cech is past his best, he's still consistently better than Mignolet. Even the most ardent Mignolet supporter cannot ignore the fact that no other Keeper in the top six has cost their team as many points as he has ours since he was signed. Henderson has undoubtedly improved since signing from Sunderland but has plateaued before reaching the required level we need him to be at to compete, and Firmino is a great player in many respects but isn't a natural finisher so isn't getting near the numbers the rest of them are - and neither is Mane and Salah is unlikely to as well before anyone uses that as an excuse. Of them only Coutinho is at the level we require and he's desperate to get away, which in fairness we can't really blame him for.
It's no coidencedence that we're not competing when we're not close to our competitors in terms of quality in the key areas of the team. Just look at our biggest problems so far this season. We're struggling to score goals, our midfield doesn't sheild the defence well enough and so our defence is leaking like an old boot. The team needs an overhaul of which signing Keita is a good start but more, much much more is needed. We need serious quality in the goalkeeping, central defence, central midfield and center forwad positions of the team. If we're going to get anywhere close to competing for honours, nevermind chellanging for the title and Europe, we need a new spine because until we do we're not going to get even close, which funnily enough for the most part, we're not.