‘I made a mistake going there’ - Jordan Henderson reflects on regrettable move to Saudi Arabia

Jordan Henderson reflects on mistake || Imago

‘I made a mistake going there’ - Jordan Henderson reflects on regrettable move to Saudi Arabia

Stephen Oladehinde 07:06 - 15.03.2024

Jordan Henderson has openly admitted his regrets about his decision to move to Saudi Arabia last summer, according to reports.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who controversially left Liverpool for Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League for £12 million, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the move, citing various reasons including personal discomfort and family issues.

Henderson Reflecting on Mistakes

Speaking to Dutch outlet Parool, as reported by Daily Mail, Henderson candidly reflected on his time in the Middle East, admitting his error in judgment. "I now realize that football runs through my blood," he said. 

"The Saudi league is developing but it doesn’t suit me, I made a mistake going there. I am happy here at the Ajax project."

Despite his struggles, Henderson has found solace in his new venture with Ajax, where he was appointed captain shortly after his arrival. However, his success on the field has been limited, with only one victory in seven appearances across all competitions.

Henderson's recent admission contrasts with his earlier statements at his Ajax unveiling in January, where he defended his decision to move to Saudi Arabia. 

Jordan Henderson in action for Ajax || Imago
Jordan Henderson in action for Ajax || Imago

Nevertheless, he emphasized the importance of learning from his experiences. "In life, if you wanna call them regrets or mistakes you can, but they're only mistakes if you don't learn from them," he said.

The midfielder's departure from Al-Ettifaq was marked by a warm farewell message to the club and its fans. "I’m sad to say that I will be leaving Al-Ettifaq with immediate effect," he wrote. "It wasn’t an easy decision but one that I feel is best for me and my family."

Initial Move and Struggles

Upon joining Al-Ettifaq, Henderson faced heavy criticism for his move to a country where homosexuality is illegal, especially considering his previous advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights during his time at Anfield. 

Jordan Henderson || Imago
Jordan Henderson || Imago

However, his difficulties extended beyond the social and political landscape. Reports from Mail Sport in January revealed that Henderson struggled to acclimate to the club due to family reasons and discomfort with the climate. 

Additionally, concerns about potentially losing his place in the England squad for the European Championship added to his unease.