Following on from former Liverpool and England midfielder, Jordan Henderson’s, choice to take the truly bizarre decision to make the move to the Saudi Arabian Pro League after what many believe was a simply misunderstanding with manager Jurgen Klopp over his game time and continued importance – at least as it was reported – the transfer rumour mill in recent weeks has heavily suggested he has become disillusioned with life at the club and wants to return to the European game and Ajax have now emerged as having a possible interest.
Obviously the move was more high profile given Henderson’s stance on discrimination and human rights and many felt that what appeared to be ‘chasing the money’ was a complete betrayal of his former words, but initial reports suggested Al Ettifaq were unwilling to deal unless they made their money back – especially as he is on a three contract with a claimed £700,000 a week wage.
With only 17 appearances to his name, and the club struggling in the league under the charge of fellow former Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, the latest speculation indicates that they are now willing to cut their own losses and talks are underway to simply terminate his agreement with them.
It would now be the ideal outcome for Henderson if it comes to fruition as his new and current deal would basically hamstring himself on a permanent, and even a loan deal, arrangement with pretty much any club on the planet.
The sad truth of it is, many fans, and not just Liverpool supporters criticised the move and called it a wrong decision, and given it seems to have proven to be just that, there is very little sympathy in the wider world of football for the experience he has just had.
Henderson may not have been everyone’s cup of tea in the game, but he gave sterling service to Sunderland, Liverpool and England and many would argue he has now ruined his own legacy, and despite him expressing the fact he was ‘really hurt’ given the criticisms of his previous campaigning with the Saudi Arabia move – he seems to have totally misread the room and the mood.
Let us not forget he was even booed by some sections of the crowd in his first game back in England when we took a friendly victory over Australia back at Wembley in October.
With a growing disconnect between fans and players, players who stand up for something so vocally cannot be so optically hypocritical. It is not like Henderson would not have had any other options. It is not like Henderson could not have taken a comparative wage and better argued game time, as opposed to negotiating the wage he accepted.
There are so many ‘it is not like’ arguments to be made, as they have been. Of course, he is not the only player said to have doubts about their decision, and if players leave it will obviously be spun into a positive.
He put himself between a rock and a hard place here, who would blame him on the money knowing full well it would more than secure his families future. But who can blame fans for feeling betrayed, knowing full well on a financial front, he is sorted for life in a way we never will be.
And all for being able to kick a ball.