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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Henderson backs Liverpool youngsters

Jordan Henderson has backed Liverpool's youngsters to guide the club towards the Premier League's top four.

• Suso set for new deal
• Blog: Cautious optimism over Anfield
• Liverpool set to stay at Anfield

Manager Brendan Rodgers has given a number of young players an opportunity to impress this season, including teenagers Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom.

Rodgers also fielded the youngest first-team player in the club's history when he gave 16-year-old Jerome Sinclair a late run-out in the Capital One Cup win at West Brom on September 26.

Liverpool are eight points adrift of the top four after a poor start to the season, which has left them in 14th place. Henderson, though, has been encouraged by the quality of the performances under Rodgers, and believes results will improve.

"It is a very young team, but that is a good thing for us, and for the future," the midfielder told the Liverpool Echo. "But we aren't just looking at the future. This team and these players are ready now, and I think they have shown that over the last few weeks.

"The younger lads that have come through have been brilliant. Whenever they've played, they have done really well. Hopefully they will keep working hard and keep improving themselves. Their development has been brilliant for the team.

"Obviously finishing in the top four would be brilliant. Everyone at the club would love that. But I think the main aim, first and foremost, is improving and developing from last season.

"I think the way that we are going, and with the quality that we have in the team, I don't think we will be too far away from the top four."

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