Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson’s return to European football with Ajax, just six months after joining Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq, has implications for Liverpool and star player Mohamed Salah. Henderson’s swift departure from Saudi Arabia may inadvertently boost Liverpool’s chances of retaining Salah, who is yet to confirm his commitment to the club amid speculation about his future.
When Henderson left Anfield to join Al-Ettifaq last summer, he spoke about growing the Pro League under manager Steven Gerrard’s guidance. However, the discrepancy between the club’s spending power and its low attendance figures has raised questions about the appeal of Gulf football. Henderson’s move to Ajax might serve as a cautionary tale for players considering similar transfers.
As Salah, currently recovering from an injury at AFCON, approaches the end of his contract in 18 months, uncertainties about his future persist. While indications suggest Salah desires to stay at the top level of European football, he hasn’t definitively affirmed his commitment to Liverpool. The experiences of his former teammates, particularly Fabinho and Roberto Firmino in Saudi Arabia, add complexity to Salah’s decision-making process.
Liverpool hopes that Henderson’s challenges in Saudi football will influence Salah’s decision. As contract negotiations and discussions about a potential new deal for Salah loom, Henderson’s abrupt exit may play a crucial role in encouraging the Egyptian forward to stay at Anfield.