Jordan Henderson “considers” Saudi Arabia’s offer for Steven Gerrard because the Liverpool player may be very important.

Jordan Henderson ‘considers’ Saudi bid for Steven Gerrard as his Liverpool team-mate could be crucial


Jordan Henderson faces a decision over his future at Liverpool while Steven Gerrard is targeting a reunion in Saudi Arabia. A teammate at Anfield could be a key factor. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is reportedly considering leaving the club and taking a surprise step into the Saudi Pro League.

According to The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe, Reds legend Steven Gerrard is “wooing” his former team-mate after taking charge of Al-Ettifaq.

Now Henderson must choose his next move – to stay at Anfield or secure a ‘moment’ under Gerrard – and a decision is expected ‘soon’. The prospect of Henderson leaving is worrying for Liverpool. Yes, last season he looked like a player in decline, but he remains an important part of the club and the value of leaders and culture builders in elite teams should not be underestimated.

The loss of captain Henderson and former vice-captain James Milner in the same summer could create a big gap in that regard that even big spending might not be able to fill.

In theory, the club could simply turn down any offers, but given his immense contribution over more than a decade, they will surely feel compelled to accommodate the 33-year-old’s wishes.

However, if he hopes Henderson stays, he might find an unexpected ally. The former Sunderland player has won everything at club level but is yet to find major international honours.

He came closest to Euro 2020, playing 46 minutes in the final as England suffered a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss to Italy.

However, before the next edition of the tournament in 12 months, England are among the favorites and will have a chance to put things in order.

The Three Lions are fourth in the world rankings, with World Cup finalists France the only European team ahead of them.

It appears to be Henderson’s last attempt at fame with his country as he turns 36 at the next World Cup, by which time he may have had to retire or be forgotten by international football. If he remains at Liverpool, he is a likely addition to Gareth Southgate’s squad as the current vice-captain and a mainstay of recent selections.

But if he goes to Saudi Arabia, he could lose his job. Yes, there has been an influx of stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté and former Henderson teammate Roberto Firmino to add to the league’s stature and appeal, but it will be some time before the championship realizes its ambition to compete with its European counterparts.

To underscore how far it still has to go, a model found earlier this year that the league was inferior in quality to England’s third tier. With Gerrard falling short of either side to be acquired by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), an upward trajectory could take longer than other clubs in the division. Henderson won’t be playing at the level and intensity it takes to secure his place and, perhaps more importantly, he won’t be in the spotlight. It’s hard to imagine Southgate making trips to Saudi Arabia to watch it up close.

There is a lot of competition for places and you just have to focus on the U21 team that just won the European Championship. Liverpool team-mates Curtis Jones, who made the team of the tournament, and Harvey Elliott could be another year ahead in their development, while Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey certainly looks like the one to watch in the should keep an eye.

Liverpool will be hoping to present Henderson with a compelling pitch themselves, with Jurgen Klopp likely to secure a key role even after the arrival of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister. But in the end, Southgate could lend a crucial, albeit unintended, helping hand from Jones, who will have his own EM ambitions.

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