Jordan Henderson has paid an emotional tribute to Liverpool after the English player trained with his new club Al-Ettifaq following his 700,000 pounds a week move to the Middle East.
The one-time English Premier League winner confirmed his departure from Liverpool earlier this month to secure a move to the Saudi Pro League after being out of favor in the new Jurgen Klopp project.
On Wednesday, 26th of July, 2023, the former Sunderland player was pictured training with his new club Al-Ettifaq led by Steven Gerrard after he finalized his controversial move.
The former Reds captain secured his move away from the six times UEFA Champions League-winning club in a deal reportedly worth 12 million pounds plus add-ons.
The 33-year-old has been offered 700,000 pounds per week by the Saudi outfit Al-Ettifaq to take his hugely blooming Liverpool career to an end.
The England International midfielder has agreed a three-year contract with the Saudi club, although there’s a chance that the third year could be an option.
Jordan Henderson said being named the Reds captain was one of the greatest honors of his life, but he also had some really hard days along the way. He reflected to the day he came through the doors in 2011 and recounted his experiences since then.
Speaking during his farewell to Anfield on Instagram, Henderson said: “It’s hard to put these last 12 years into words and it’s even harder to say goodbye. I will always be a Red. Until the day I die”. He posted. “Thank you for everything. You’ll never walk alone”.
He added: “I’m in the [Liverpool] dressing room for the last time so, as you can imagine, it is very emotional, Thank you for allowing me to be part of your club, thank you for your support in good time and bad”.
Henderson called the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid, where the club defeated Tottenham to win their sixth title in the league, his “favorite night” and stated there were no words to express the support during the procession.
At first, Jordan Henderson was hesitant to move to Saudi Arabia with his family because he still had two years left on his contract at Liverpool.
Due to his history of support for the LGBT+ community and inclusivity in sports, Liverpool’s official LGBT+ fan organization, Kop Outs, has harshly criticized the midfielder’s move to the Middle East.
Henderson had a lengthy conversation with Jurgen Klopp before the move, but the manager gave him little guarantees about his starting role in the upcoming season.
It is also said that he discussed the implications for his international future going up to Euro 2024 with England manager Gareth Southgate.
In 2020, under Henderson’s leadership, Liverpool won the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.
In addition to the Champions League and FA Cup, the English international won two League Cups, the Uefa Super Cup, and the Fifa Club World Cup while playing for Liverpool.
In June 2011, the Reds paid £20 million to acquire the services of the midfielder from Sunderland. In 492 games with the club, he scored 33 goals and recorded 57 assists.
Jordan Henderson will reunite with former Liverpool captain and current Al-Ettifaq manager Steven Gerrard.
Liverpool also anticipates losing Fabinho to the Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad for £40 million. Unlike Al-Ettifaq, Al-Ittihad is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Jordan Henderson is the latest high-profile Premier League player to join the Saudi Pro League this summer, in addition to former Reds striker Roberto Firmino and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Riyad Mahrez, a winger for Manchester City has signed a £30 million contract to play for Al-Ahli.
Al-Ittihad brought in former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and former Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.
Al-Hilal have signed Kalidou Koulibaly, a Senegalese defender, from Chelsea and Ruben Neves, a Portuguese midfielder, from Wolves.
What’s next for Al-Ettifaq and Jordan Henderson?
Al-Ettifaq will face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in their Saudi Pro League opener on August 14. They will play two more pre-season friendly before that.