The Premier League could be on the verge of losing one of the biggest supporters of their LGBTQ campaign to Saudi Arabia, with Jordan Henderson strongly linked to a move. The Englishman, who is no longer a quintessential part of Liverpool, is seeking the interest of Al-Ettifaq – the team managed by Steven Gerrard.
Henderson is leaning towards the prospect of accepting the Saudi Pro League’s side, as per The Athletic. The Liverpool captain has become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad since his arrival and has been a part of the club since 2011 – when he joined from Sunderland for around £16 million to £20 million.
The Englishman wasn’t the most popular player among the Reds fanbase initially. He was criticized for being error-prone in the pre-Klopp era years. However, he adapted impressively well to Klopp’s ‘heavy-metal’ style playing system. He improved his energy levels to be a relentless midfielder, who excelled with his pressing as well as moving the ball forward.
The lucrative wages Jordan Henderson could get in Saudi Arabia
Henderson played a key role in their Premier League title win 2021, but has gone downwards since. Last season, the 33-year-old was benched for quite a few games and criticized for having lost his mojo. With the Reds having signed two young midfielders in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, there is probably less reliance on someone like the captain.
That is why the Englishman is considering a very lucrative offer from Al-Ettifaq. The Saudi club are willing to make him a very rich man and quadruple the wages he receives at Anfield. Henderson is rumoured to be currently earning wages of around £190,000-a-week. This means that Al-Ettifaq are open to handing him a whopping wage of well over £700,000-a-week – which is more than what any Premier League footballer earns right now.
Going by the stunning value of the contract, Henderson probably finds it too good to put down. The 33-year-old is well aware of the fact that he is into the final years of his footballing career and this could be his final big payday. However, this move also comes with some consequences and clash of values for the Englishman.
Henderson could be betraying Rainbow Laces campaign with Saudi Move
Apart from his heroics for Liverpool, Henderson has been a solid representative for the Premier League over the last decade. Particularly, he has been a vocal supporter of the league’s Rainbow Laces campaign – which promotes support for the LGBTQ community.
Last year, the 33-year-old also professed his pride to support the LGBTQ community and wear the rainbow captain’s armband in Premier League matches.
He said: “I have regularly worn rainbow laces and today will be no exception because this kind of visible support can only have a positive impact. It also sends the powerful message that football is for everyone and the more of us who can take this message back into our homes, workplaces and daily lives the better.
“The more we can understand, the more we can learn and the more we can stand together on issues like this, the more we will move towards the kind of inclusive society that is more welcoming of everyone. Football has its part to play and, as I said, I couldn’t be more proud to play a small part of my own.”
The issue with his move to Saudi Arabia is that he’s willing to sacrifice all the good work he did for the LGBTQ community through the Rainbow Laces campaign. Homosexuality is, of course, illegal in Saudi Arabia and harshly punishable. So to see their advocate move to such a country might come as a betrayal for some members of the LGBTQ community.
Henderson has a big decision to make that will not only shape the rest of his career, but his entire public image. As it stands, it appears that he’s willing to accept criticism from the LGBTQ community and move to Saudi Arabia to make some crazy money that could set him up for life.