HomeFootball NewsEnd Of An Anfield Era As Jordan Henderson Departs For Saudi Arabia

End Of An Anfield Era As Jordan Henderson Departs For Saudi Arabia

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson appears to be on his way out of Anfield this summer to link up with his predecessor Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia. Henderson had lifted the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time as captain of Liverpool.

However, he’s now on the way out of Anfield after 12 years, having decided to take up the lucrative offer of a move to Saudi Arabia. Henderson agreed a contract with Al Ettifaq last week, earning a reported £108 million for a three-year deal, and Liverpool agreed to the transfer this week.

End Of An Era

Henderson’s move makes him the first England international to join the exodus to Saudi Arabia and his exit from Liverpool’s German training camp represents the end of a hugely successful era that has seen them win almost every trophy available.

Jurgen Klopp had been keen to keep Henderson for his experience and influence within the dressing room, but the signings of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have shown that Klopp was keen to overhaul his midfield after it had been a significant weak point last season.

Henderson started 29 games in 2022-23, with 14 appearances from the bench, so despite his advancing years he was still a key part of Klopp’s team. However, having doubts about relocating his family to Saudi Arabia, it seems that the likelihood of being phased out of the first team this season may have helped make his mind up to move.

From Liverpool To Saudi Arabia

He isn’t the only Liverpool midfielder due to move to the Saudi Pro League. Al-Ittihad are in negotiations with the club over a £40m bid for Fabinho, which seems likely to succeed. These departures might have disrupted Klopp’s plans for the new season but he is remaining calm about the situation.

“As long as things are not really finally decided, we don’t have to talk about it,” he said. “There will be a moment where we probably have to talk about it, but it’s not now. I don’t know that anything is decided, which means nothing to say in the moment. In the end, all of these decisions are made by me. And because I respect the players a lot, it’s usually with consent. It was in this case and it is all fine.”

The Saudi raids on Liverpool might not even be over with the departure of Fabinho either, with reported interest in both Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz. However, the Merseyside club are determined to stand firm when it comes to the Colombian international, who missed six months of last season through injury but is expected to play a major role this season.

Meanwhile, Klopp’s attention needs to turn to potential midfield reinforcements, with links to 19-year-old Belgium international Romeo Lavia, who is likely to be available following Southampton’s relegation. He would be a player for the future, but with Henderson’s departure this summer, whoever arrives will have big shoes to fill.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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