‘He will play in the Premier League’ – Henderson expects big things from City’s new midfield starlet
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Ian Henderson knows how difficult it is to make the breakthrough as a Premier League player but the Rochdale forward is confident Norwich City have recruited a future star in Daniel Adshead.
Now aged 34, Henderson has gone on to have a very respectable Football League career after emerging from the Canaries' academy system.
Originally from Thetford, the hard working forward made his Norwich debut at 17 and scored on his second appearance, during a 4-2 loss at Wimbledon in October 2002.
However, despite five goals and 43 appearances during his first two seasons, City's promotion to the top flight in 2004 under Nigel Worthington led to just three appearances as a substitute in the Premier League during 2004-05.
After a total of 79 appearances Henderson was released in 2007 and went on to play for Northampton, Luton, Ankaragucu in Turkey and Colchester, before arriving at Rochdale in 2013 - where he has become a club legend thanks to 110 goals in 304 games.
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"Everything that guy is going to get in his football career, he's worked hard for it," Henderson said during last season, after midfielder Adshead had earned his first England Under-18 call-up.
"He's a supreme talent and he's going to pit his wits against the best in England and see where he is in the pecking order.
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"But I know he's going to go there full of confidence and he'll do himself and the football club unbelievable justice because he is an incredible talent that one day will play in the Premier League."
Having first trained with the Dale first team at 14 and then become the club's youngest ever player at 16, that rare international call for one of the League One club's players was celebrated by Henderson and the squad.
Adshead then scored during a 2-2 draw with Holland on his international debut as he helped the England U18s win a four-team tournament in November, also playing in wins over Ireland and Belgium.
By the end of last season the 17-year-old had made 16 appearances for Dale, scoring once, to earn a move to Norwich reportedly worth around £300,000 which will initially see him join the U23 squad.
"He always calls me big brother!" Henderson continued. "I look after him but if he's there to be kicked, I will kick him in training, to make him aware that it isn't going to be easy in football and he's going to have to continuously keep working hard.
"But the good thing about Dan is that his feet are firmly on the ground and you can see that his physique as a man is starting to develop now because he's in the gym, working hard, it's not just on the football pitch but off the pitch as well.
"He's doing everything he can to be the best player he possibly can and I would be surprised if at some point this season, coming into next season, he'll be playing all of the time in the midfield."