Jordan Henderson has been criticized for his move to Saudi Arabia, with Danny Murphy expressing the view that the former Liverpool captain made a mistake, especially considering his existing wealth.
Despite only completing a £12 million ($15 million) transfer to Al-Ettifaq in the summer of 2023, Henderson has reportedly terminated his contract with the Saudi Pro League club and is set to make a permanent transfer to Ajax.
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that the saga has damaged Henderson’s reputation and advises other players to learn from this experience.
Speaking on White and Jordan for talkSPORT, Murphy said: “There might be a thought in his mind that by doing that [paying way out], he kind of rights the wrongs of people accusing him of the greed and the money that he went for in the first place. I think if this is a lesson for others looking in from afar, really think hard about – depending on your financial situation, sometimes it’s a no-brainer.
But he was wealthy anyway, and I think football contentment is a starting place for the rest of your life being happy. There might be something other people translate to their own life. But Jordan here, he’s messed it up really. I don’t think from Liverpool fans’ perspective, but for a broad spectrum of football people, his character and his reputation has been damaged by this whole episode.”
Jordan Henderson seems poised to join Ajax after agreeing in principle to a deal with the Eredivisie side. The details suggest that the midfielder may be presented with an 18-month contract, with the option for an additional year, by the Amsterdam club.
Simon Jordan joins Murphy on slamming Henderson
Speaking on the potential transfer to Ajax, Murphy added: “I think it’s probably as close to home as he can get. I don’t know if there are an abundance of offers on the table.”
Simon Jordan, former Crystal Palace owner and talkSPORT host, also criticized Jordan Henderson for his decision to move to Saudi Arabia and then reverse course when the situation didn’t go as planned.
“I don’t think it’s a good look for either of them, the Saudis are very ambitious and they have every right to be,” he said. “They must be disappointed that one of the leading names that has gone over there from one the big English clubs, playing for his country, has decided that it’s not for him. Specifically when he’s gone out there with some ridiculous diatribe about the face that he wants to grow the game.
“The flip side of the question, is what does it make Jordan Henderson look like? Does it make him look like a man of substance? Does it make him look like a man of character that overcomes adversity and ultimately shows you that when things aren’t going his way, that he’s capable of turning it around and making it better? I don’t think it’s great either way, it proves the point that the Saudi league have got a long way to go to be able to create the backdrop where the world’s best players will want to play in it. It also shows the indulged and pampered nature of the modern-day footballer that the moment they don’t get what they want, they can change it. I’m surprised they [Ettifaq] have made it so easy for him.”