Jordan Henderson makes feelings clear on Saudi Pro League after leaving for Ajax - 'I apologise'

Jordan Henderson makes feelings clear on Saudi Pro League after leaving for Ajax - 'I apologise'

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Jordan Henderson is unveiled by Ajax

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter


Published: 19/01/2024

- 13:53

Updated: 19/01/2024

- 14:37

The England star has revealed the reasons behind his recent transfer

Jordan Henderson says it was purely a football decision to leave the Saudi Pro League and join Ajax.

The midfielder insists he still has 'full respect' for the league and has also apologised if anyone was upset by his decision to move to Saudi Arabia.


Henderson had his Al-Ettifaq contract ripped up this week before joining Ajax on a free transfer.

He made just 19 appearances in all competitions, playing under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson has revealed the reasons behind his transfer

BBC

Gerrard has signed a new two-year contract despite a poor run of form.

But Henderson saw fit to force an exit just six months after arriving from Merseyside.

The 33-year-old held a press conference on Friday as he was unveiled as an Ajax player.

He refused to say a bad word about the league but insists it was the 'best decision' for him to go.

Henderson said: "I think a lot of people would like me to sit here and criticise the Saudi League and everything that went along with that.

"But that's certainly not the case and something I am not going to do.

"I have full respect for the league, Ettifaq the club, for the people over there who really made me feel welcome.

"Unfortunately sometimes these things in life sometimes just don't work out. In football and in life in general. I made a decision.

"As soon as I knew this opportunity was there I made a decision and the decision was this was the best move for me and my family at this time."

Henderson received widespread criticism for his decision to leave Liverpool for the Saudi Pro League last summer.

He has long been a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights but moved to a country that criminalises homosexuality.

He apologised earlier this season and has again said sorry to anyone who he has upset.

Henderson added: "If anyone was offended or feel I have upset that's on me.

"I apologise for that and it was never my intention.

"I said six months ago that if I offended anybody or people felt as though I let them down then I apologise for that, and I apologise again.

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Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson says he has full respect for the Saudi Pro League

Getty

"As I said before, my beliefs have never changed and never will.

"I can apologise if people feel let down. I haven't changed as a person and never have.

"I want to continue to focus on my football and give everything I can for this great football club."

Henderson has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Ajax.

Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard

Jordan Henderson played under Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia

Getty

Explaining his decision to join the Dutch side, he said: "Because it's one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"The biggest club in Holland. I felt as though it was a great opportunity for me personally to come to a huge club and try to help this club go forward and be as successful as possible."

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