Henderson Weighing Up Lucrative Saudi Offer
Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, might be nearing the end of his 12-year career at Anfield to accept a lucrative offer from Steven Gerrard at his new club Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia. Despite his initial reluctance to leave Liverpool and move to the Middle East with his family, 33-year-old Henderson is now considering an offer of a two-year contract that would double his £200,000 weekly wage at Liverpool. The offer also includes the option of a third year.
Liverpool have not yet received a formal bid from the Saudi club, but one is expected to arrive in the next few days, provided Henderson is open to considering this shock transfer. This week, the midfielder is likely to hold talks with Jürgen Klopp regarding his chances of having a significant role in Liverpool next season, a decision which could also shape the veteran captain’s own.
On and Off the Pitch Considerations
The impact of a move to Saudi Arabia on Henderson’s England career is also a cause for consideration. Henderson played an influential role for Gareth Southgate in the 2022 World Cup and might be reluctant to jeopardise his international spot ahead of next summer’s European Championship in Germany.
The acquisitions of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai for £35 million and £60 million respectively, have intensified the competition in Liverpool’s midfield, which now has nine midfielders at its disposal. This is in addition to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s successful transition to a hybrid midfield role towards the end of last season, as well as the impressive development of Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic.
Former Liverpool teammate, Steven Gerrard, now at the helm of Al-Ettifaq, has played a key role in the attempt to sign Henderson. Should Henderson inform Liverpool of his desire to move to Saudi Arabia, Al-Ettifaq would need to agree a fee with Liverpool for the transfer.
In addition to the on-pitch considerations, off-the-pitch factors also need to be taken into account. Henderson has been a staunch supporter of the LGBTQI+ community and fans, whereas homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia.
Henderson’s decision is sure to be a balance between a lucrative life-changing proposal and his commitment to his sporting career, his club identity and the principles he stands for.