At the end of last season, vice-captain James Milner’s contract expired and he moved to Brighton on a free transfer. Liverpool lost one of its spiritual pillars, and it was thought that “captain” Jordan Henderson would lead the team into the new season.
However, the Saudi Professional League, which has been reinforcing Liverpool’s squad at a tremendous rate, has extended its tentacles to Liverpool’s veterans as well. When he and Fabinho made the decision to leave Anfield, they moved to Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq.
The 33-year-old midfielder, who has lifted Premier League and Champions League trophies, is now in a new place and playing new soccer.
In an interview, the player discussed his reasons for moving to Saudi Arabia and the possibilities he sees in the Saudi Professional League.
“It’s an exciting time, the project and something different is the reason why I wanted to come here,”
“Over the next few years, I’m sure it will grow and I want to be part of that to help it grow.”
“I love football so I want to try to help it grow all over the world, I know people in Saudi love football. Hopefully we can continue growing the league over the next few years. Hopefully I can be part of that.”
“It’s a totally different project, experience, which is why I wanted to come and try something completely different to what I’ve been used to for the last however many years. It’s exciting and I’m just happy to be here and try get started.”
“Stevie was a big reason why I came, to work with him and play under him,”
“I think we’ve had some good training sessions, not many, had one game.”
“We need to be ready in the next week or so for the first game – I’m sure we will be, we’ve had some good training sessions, a good result the other night so hopefully we can start things in the right direction and work together to make the team successful.”BeanymanSports
The English midfielder is said to have turned down the first offer he received, but with a hefty salary offer and some persuasion from coach Gerrard, he moved to a club in the Middle East, and the reason behind his move has finally been revealed.
If one were to speculate, it would seem that a change in team circumstances, such as a decrease in playing time, was also a factor in the move.
Will Henderson be able to play in a completely different environment from England?