Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia will be a massive blow for the rebuilding Reds ahead of a pivotal 2023-24 season.
First it was Cristiano Ronaldo who made a move to the Saudi Pro League. Then Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino and N’Golo Kante all followed Now, with talk of others heading to the Middle East, Jordan Henderson is the latest to be on the radar of a Saudi Arabian club.
It appears that the two sides are close to agreeing a fee, and Henderson reportedly told Jurgen Klopp he wanted to leave the club. It emerged shortly after that Liverpool had named their price – an inflated £20 million ($26m). By the weekend, it could be all sorted.The move, though, isn’t necessarily cause for celebration on Merseyside. Although Henderson is 33, and coming towards the end of his career, he is still a vital player for Klopp’s side. He will undoubtedly lose his place to either Alexis Mac Allister or Dominik Szoboszlai, especially in the long-term – both are younger and, arguably, better that the Liverpool captain.
But it’s the intangibles that matter here. Yes, Liverpool will have sold Henderson for far more than he is worth, and they could well use that money to help fund the addition of a third young, promising midfielder – with Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo both having been linked. Still, captains with years of experience don’t come ready-made.
For some, it is absurd that the Pro League will buy an aging midfielder and quadruple his wages. For Liverpool, it would leave a gaping hold in the fabric of Klopp’s side. They really do need him to stay.