Jordan Henderson admits it was a ‘MISTAKE’ moving to Saudi Arabia after a difficult six-month spell at Al-Ettifaq… as the former Liverpool star claims he regrets joining a league that ‘didn’t suit’ him - Now soccer
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Jordan Henderson admits it was a ‘MISTAKE’ moving to Saudi Arabia after a difficult six-month spell at Al-Ettifaq… as the former Liverpool star claims he regrets joining a league that ‘didn’t suit’ him



  • Jordan Henderson made a controversial move to Saudi Arabia in the summer 
  • He struggled to settle in the Middle East and joined Ajax after just six months 
  • The damage has already been done. Not even beating Liverpool can save Ten Hag – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Jordan Henderson has admitted he regrets moving to Saudi Arabia back in the summer.

Henderson, 33, controversially joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool for £12million in July as he became one of several big European names to head to the Middle East.

However, he was heavily criticised for moving to a nation where homosexuality is illegal, with the midfielder previously a big advocate for LGBTQ+ rights during his time at Anfield.

He went onto struggle with Steven Gerrard’s side, with Mail Sport reporting in January how Henderson failed to settle at the club due to family reasons as well as discomfort with the climate, while he was also concerned about losing his place in the England squad for this summer’s European Championship.

Henderson terminated his contract and joined Ajax in January, signing a two-and-a-half year deal with the Dutch giants.

And, speaking to Dutch outlet Parool, Henderson – who was earning a reported £350,000-a-week at Al-Ettifaq – reflected on his stint in the Middle East and revealed he made the wrong decision to head there.

‘I now realise that football runs through my blood,’ he said.

‘The Saudi league is developing but it doesn’t suit me, I made a mistake going there. I am happy here at the Ajax project.’

Henderson was appointed as captain of Ajax shortly after his arrival, with the midfielder going onto make seven appearances in all competitions so far.

However, he has only been on the winning side once – during a 2-0 victory over Utrecht earlier this month.

Henderson’s admission on his Saudi experience comes after the 33-year-old refused to admit the move was a mistake when speaking at his Ajax unveiling in January.

Addressing the media, he said: ‘Looking back at the time, it was a big decision and one I felt was right for me.

‘Things change quickly in football and I’m happy to make this decision (to come to Ajax) and I felt this opportunity was too big to turn down for me.

‘In life, if you wanna call them regrets or mistakes you can, but they’re only mistakes if you don’t learn from them and I learnt a lot of things about Saudi.

‘I haven’t got a bad word to say about anyone. I have friends over there I’ll speak to forever and there were still positives to come out of it.

‘In the end it didn’t turn out way we both wanted to, but it ended on great terms.’

Henderson’s words at his press conference unveiling came after he had also shared a warm farewell message to Al-Ettifaq supporters on X, formerly Twitter.

He said: ‘I’m sad to say that I will be leaving Al-Ettifaq with immediate effect. It wasn’t an easy decision but one that I feel is best for me and my family.

‘I want to take this opportunity to thank the club & the fans for all the support during my time. I really felt the love from day one. I’ll keep watching & hoping for your success. Good luck for the future.’

Henderson, who is expected to be named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this month’s internationals against Brazil and Belgium, returns to action with Ajax when they take on Aston Villa in the second leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie on Thursday evening.

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