During this summer transfer window, several European players have tilted towards accepting lucrative offers from Saudi clubs, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson being the latest one. The Saudi Pro League gathered a lot of attention after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo earlier this year. Many high-profile players like Karim Benzema, Ruben Neves, Roberto Firmino, and N’Golo Kante have followed the 38-year-old superstar’s footsteps.
Social media slammed the England international Jordan Henderson after several reports suggested his interest in joining his former teammate Steven Gerrard at the Saudi club, Al Ettifaq. Fans resurfaced quotes from the 33-year-old expressing his opposition to Qatar’s alleged ‘discrimination against women’ and the LGBTQ+ community.
Jordan Henderson condemned Qatar on human rights issues ahead of WC 2022
During the World Cup, the England international publicly criticized Qatar’s record of human rights abuses and expressed his intention to use the platform to raise awareness about these issues. The footballing world quick enough to remind the England international about the contradiction between his publicly expressed statements before the World Cup and his current actions.
The Englishman said, “It’s horrendous really when you look at some of the issues that are currently happening and have been happening over there.”
He added, “As a team, we’re just sort of digesting that, coming up with ideas of what we want to do going forward because it’s an opportunity to maybe shine a light on the issues and use our platforms to make change for the better.”
The Liverpool captain has been one of the most vocal players to support the LGBTQ+ community and there are huge question marks on his legacy, considering his willingness to move to a country where homosexuality is illegal. Extending his support to the homosexual community, the England international once said,
“Whatever we decide to do will be criticized and will never be enough but we do it to try and make a difference in the world. I think everybody knows we stand for no discrimination. Football’s for everyone.”
The reports of a potential Saudi move on the cards have caused a lot of stir on social media, as several LGBTQ+ fan groups have issued statements condemning the potential move.
Kop Outs have valued the allyship shown by @JHenderson
We are appalled and concerned that anyone might consider working for a #sportswashing operation for a regime where women & LGBT+ people are oppressed & that regularly tops the world death sentence table? https://t.co/NVjxO2y1hU
— Kop Outs! 🌈⚽🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@LFC_LGBT) July 13, 2023
Former England captain seemingly persuaded by bumper Saudi deal
In 2011, Liverpool reached an agreement with Sunderland for the transfer of Jordan Henderson for an undisclosed fee. During his 12-year-stint at the Merseyside club, the England international played 492 matches, scoring 33 goals and providing 61 assists. Despite Henderson signing a contract extension in 2021, which keeps him at the club until 2025, it seems that the lucrative offer from the Saudi club might tempt him to cut short his current contract.
Jordan Henderson update. Understand Liverpool have asked for £10m fee to Al Ettifaq — with main part upfront. 🔴🇸🇦
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 13, 2023
Renowned football journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that Liverpool are adamant to acquire at least $13 million in exchange for their central midfielder. If the deal proceeds, it is reported that Henderson’s wages would quadruple to a staggering $900,000 per week. Do you think Jordan will actually join the Saudi club in the end? Share what you think with us!