Jordan Henderson, an England midfielder, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Dutch club Ajax, following less than six months with Al-Ettifaq.
After leaving Liverpool in July, the 33-year-old reportedly inked a three-year contract worth £700,000 per week with the Saudi Pro League club.
Al-Ettifaq consented to the termination of his contract to facilitate the relocation.
Henderson tweeted, “I regret to inform you that I will be departing from Al Ettifaq immediately.”
“While not an easy one, I believe it was the best course of action for my family and me.”
“I would like to express my gratitude to the club and its supporters for their unwavering support throughout my tenure. And I immediately sensed the affection from the very beginning.
“I will continue to observe and sincerely wish for your triumph. I wish you the best of success in the future.”
Henderson is unlikely to make his debut for Ajax against RKC Waalwijk on Sunday, as he is awaiting international clearance.
Henderson characterized the previous few days as “frantic” and “whirlwind,” but he was looking forward to beginning a “new chapter” in both his professional and personal life.
“I can’t wait to put on that Ajax shirt for the very first time; it will be an unforgettable experience.” He said in an interview that was made public by his new club.
“As soon as I became aware that an opportunity existed [to relocate here], I was ecstatic and completely overwhelmed that this chance presented itself.”
“I wanted to make an effort to achieve that, so it is truly humbling to be in this position.” “Today is an extraordinary day.”
It was reported shortly after the confirmation of Henderson’s departure that former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had been extended as the manager of Al-Ettifaq until 2027.
“All parties attempted, and nobody is to blame”
Henderson, who was a prominent advocate for the LGBTQ+ community during his tenure at Anfield, faced criticism for his decision to relocate to Saudi Arabia, a country that prohibits same-sex sexual activity.
He stated that the backlash had “deeply wounded” him and that his sole purpose has always been to “assist communities and causes.”
Recent reports, however, indicated that Henderson had not established himself in Saudi Arabia; he departed Al-Ettifaq with only seventeen league appearances to his name.
The Saudi Pro League and Henderson reached an amicable agreement that his departure would have “positive” financial repercussions for the Saudis.
President Samer Al Misehal of Al-Ettifaq stated, “To begin with, the club wishes Jordan the best of luck in all his future endeavours and extends its gratitude for his efforts.
“Our players always receive our utmost respect.” Both the club and Jordan think that this speedy decision, which was executed without any additional delay or diversion, was in Jordan’s and the club’s best interests.
Saudi Pro League’s Perspective
Vice-chairman and interim chief executive of the Saudi Pro League Saad Allazeez further stated, “This is a normal aspect of life and football, worldwide, and of all professions.
“Individuals do not consistently adjust or resolve, which can hurt performances and result in frustrations for all, despite their best efforts.
“It is unfortunate that things did not work out for Jordan, but he would be the first to acknowledge that he received complete support and respect. Jordan is a good person. Thus, everyone made an effort, and nobody bears responsibility.”
He continued, “I am relieved the club acted swiftly, as they must safeguard the player’s interests in addition to their own, and in this particular case, everything worked out for the best.”
“Having mutually agreed to the financial terms for contract cancellation, they are now able to fully capitalize on the winter break and transfer window to restart their efforts.”
Furthermore, our league possesses the necessary vigour and depth to advance.
Henderson is an “immense improvement” for Ajax
Ajax, who have struggled thus far in the Eredivisie, are 23 points adrift of the league leaders, PSV Eindhoven.
“Partially as a result of team injuries, we were seeking an individual capable of providing immediate support. Such describes Jordan Henderson as a player.
Henderson began his professional career with his native club Sunderland before his rumored £20 million transfer to Liverpool in 2011.
He participated in 492 games for the Reds, accumulating 57 assists and 33 goals in addition to seven main trophies.
Van ‘t Schip further stated, “His inclusion significantly improves our team.” For our numerous youthful players, a football player of this calibre is indispensable both on and off the pitch.
“Along with numerous other accolades, he has won the Champions League as an English international player for Liverpool.” He’s here to stay, which I believe is excellent for our club.”
“Regaining the trust of the gay community will require time”
Henderson will need to regain the confidence of the LGBTQ+ community, according to Queer Football Fan Clubs board member Sven Kistner. With approximately 1,200 members, the organization serves as a network for European homosexual and lesbian supporters.
Kistner stated that he could and should have known better in the past, but he failed to do so, and now he is returning. It is possible that he could once more contribute positively to our community, but it will be some time before people regain faith in him. He will be required to exert some effort to regain this reputation.
Supporters might greet Henderson with disdain when he joins Ajax.
Kistner further stated, “I believe he will struggle with the LGBT+ community for the foreseeable future.” He was somewhat of an icon and a role model for a great portion of the community, but he ultimately decided to depart for Saudi Arabia, which is not the United States, Japan, or China. The location is Saudi Arabia.
The community did not particularly well receive that, in my opinion, which is completely comprehensible. Upon his arrival, he promptly discerned that it was not the most favourable location.
Football-wise, it is not particularly enjoyable for a player to perform in a stadium that is occupied less than 2% of the time, which is 80% of the time.