On Tuesday afternoon, Jordan Henderson was seen recording a ‘goodbye video’ at Anfield, as he nears a move to Saudi Arabia.
The 33-year-old midfielder is set to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq this summer in a deal worth around £10.5 million.
Henderson, who is an England international, will have the opportunity to reunite with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who has recently taken on the managerial role at Al Ettifaq.
The impending deal is expected to involve a significant increase in Henderson’s wages, reportedly amounting to £700,000-a-week, effectively concluding his 12-year career with Liverpool.
The midfielder’s farewell video on Anfield’s pitch seems to all but confirm his departure from the club, and with a transfer announcement expected to happen soon, the move appears to be imminent,you can watch the footage below.
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) July 25, 2023
Henderson’s move will undoubtedly come with it’s fair share of controversy due to the Saudi government’s strict laws around homosexuality.
Henderson, who was previously viewed as one of football’s strongest allies for the LGBT+ community is now on the brink of moving to a country where being homosexual or transgender remains illegal.
And former Reds midfielder Graeme Souness reckons the move will “damage his legacy”.
“I think with him [Henderson], as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and a supporter of Rainbow Laces – and then he ends up going to Saudi, I think without a doubt that will damage his legacy,” Souness told Sky Bet.
Souness attended Brighton Pride in 2019, describing it as a “learning curve” for himself while admitting that football is “extremely homophobic”.
“I have been in the game for 50 years. Football clubs can be quite homophobic, both in the dressing room and in the stands. I want to show I’m an ally,” Souness told theDaily Mail.
“I am at an age where I’ve got an opinion on most things and I like to think I can be an ally.
“This is a learning curve for me today as much as anything. But when you look at the strides made by the LGBT community in the last 20 years and then you look at football where I don’t think it has moved a step forward since the late 60s when I started.
“I think professional football is still an extremely homophobic business to be in and that has to change. It’s 2019. In the last 20-odd years this community has made great strides forward.”