For a time, it looked like Steven Gerard’s appointment as manager to Saudi Arabia was a long way off. However, talks have progressed well in recent weeks, and Gerrard is now the new manager of Al-Ettifaq. He has signed a two-year contract with the club and will restart his new coaching career.
The former Liverpool midfielder, who made history at Anfield during his playing days, has his eyes on the Premier League to bolster his squad and is interested in his former teammates and rivals.
According to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, Gerrard is targeting Jordan Henderson, who passed on the captaincy during his Liverpool days, and former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is out of contention at Chelsea.
The Gabonese international, who joined Chelsea from Barcelona in last summer’s transfer window, is rumored to be on his way out this summer, and like former teammates Kante, Koulibaly, and Mendy, is believed to be headed to Saudi Arabia, so there are few obstacles for Al-Ettifaq.
On the other hand, the chances of landing Henderson are infinitesimal: the 33-year-old midfielder is under contract until 2025, and it is hard to imagine Liverpool letting go of their captain, who cannot lack any more leadership in a team with James Milner gone.
With a new crop of midfielders and a number of young players, the ideal career plan would be to support them at Anfield for at least the remaining two years of their careers and then, if possible, retire.
But is it possible that Henderson, like many other stars of the game, will seek a new home in the Middle East in the future?