Liverpool’s iconic captain, Jordan Henderson, finds himself at a career crossroads as he contemplates a momentous decision. The midfielder is now seriously considering bidding farewell to his cherished 12-year stint at Liverpool, as a lucrative offer from Al-Ettifaq, Steven Gerrard’s new club in Saudi Arabia, beckons. Initially apprehensive about uprooting his family and relocating to the Middle East, the 33-year-old is now tempted by a two-year contract that promises to double his weekly wage of £200,000 at Liverpool. This remarkable proposal also tantalizingly offers the option of a third year.
Despite the absence of a formal bid from Al-Ettifaq, sources indicate that an official offer may materialize imminently, possibly within days, pending Henderson’s receptiveness to this surprise transfer. Crucially, the midfielder is set to hold discussions with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in the forthcoming week, seeking clarity on his prospects of securing regular playing time in the upcoming season. The outcome of these talks will significantly shape Henderson’s momentous decision, as he contemplates bidding farewell to the club where he has become a revered figure.
In the previous season, Henderson featured prominently for Liverpool, making 43 appearances and cementing his status as an indispensable leader, both on and off the pitch, under Klopp’s tutelage. However, the departure of former vice-captain James Milner, who joined Brighton, along with the exits of Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on free transfers, has left a void in the squad. Liverpool’s midfield has become a hotly contested battleground with the high-profile acquisitions of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, commanding transfer fees of £35 million and £60 million, respectively. Presently, Klopp boasts an abundance of options with nine midfielders at his disposal. Moreover, the successful experimentation of Trent Alexander-Arnold in a hybrid midfield role toward the end of the previous season, coupled with the impressive growth of Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic, has further enriched Liverpool’s midfield arsenal.
Intriguingly, Henderson is not the sole Liverpool midfielder attracting interest from the Saudi Pro League. Thiago Alcântara has also found himself in the sights of potential suitors. Meanwhile, Klopp’s eye remains fixed on Roméo Lavia, Southampton’s promising 19-year-old defensive midfielder, valued at £50 million by the recently relegated club.
As Henderson weighs the possibilities of a move to Saudi Arabia, he must also contend with the potential impact on his international career with England. The midfielder played a pivotal role for Gareth Southgate during the 2022 World Cup and is understandably cautious about endangering his place in the national team ahead of the highly anticipated European Championships in Germany next summer.