Stephane Henchoz was a defensive stalwart for Liverpool for five seasons. However, he was frozen out by the new boss Rafa Benitez who arrived in January 2005.
The defender had five great years at Liverpool. But it was followed by six bad months for him. Henchoz was the mainstay in Liverpool’s backline for five seasons. He was signed from Blackburn Rovers in a £3.5m deal in the summer of 1999. Stephane Henchoz quickly became a key player for Liverpool .
LIVERPOOL AND STEPHANE HENCHOZ FAIRYTALE STORY
The defender forged a famous center-back partnership with Sami Hyypia. They also won the treble and qualified for the Champions League under Gerrard Houllier. Stephane Henchoz helped Liverpool forge one of the meanest defences in England. However, things started going down for Stephane Henchoz at Liverpool earlier than he expected.
THE FAIRYTALE STORY COMES TO AN END
However, Gerrard Houllier left the club in the summer of 2004 as a manager. He was replaced by Rafa Benitez. The appointment was the beginning of the end for Henchoz. Although, he did not know it was going to be the end of his Liverpool career. He was hailed by his former manager and fans.
Although, it appeared his new manager did not agree. He was fully fit in time for Benitez’s arrival. The defender also even scored in a friendly. However, come at the start of the season he did not even get a look in. His partnership with Hyppia was broken by the new manager. Jamie Carragher was moved to center-back by Rafa. He was frozen out of the Liverpool line-up. The Swiss man played his final games with the kids in the League Cup. Benetiz also made it clear publicly that he should move on
“Henchoz will not travel to Monaco,” he said in November 2004 ahead of a Champions League group game. “I need to talk with him again about his future. You cannot lie to players, you have to tell them when they are through. But Stephane is a good professional and he knows the situation.”.
The defender was also out of contract in 2005. However, the player refused to leave for a fee. He said, “I’ll only leave if I go as a free agent. Liverpool won’t get a penny. After everything the coach has put me through, I’m not going to give him that parting gift (of a fee). He was finally granted a free exit to Celtic. However, Stephane Henchoz says he would have liked the things to end at Liverpool in a more respectful way.
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