Jurgen Klopp Says He Couldn’t Guarantee Henderson Playing Time At Liverpool Before Saudi Move

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Jordan Henderson with Jurgen Klopp. (Credit: Twitter)

Jordan Henderson with Jurgen Klopp. (Credit: Twitter)

Henderson, who joined Al-Ettifaq during the transfer window, said in an interview last week that he would have stayed at the Merseyside club if he had felt wanted.

Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia came after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp failed to offer guarantees over playing time, the German coach said Friday.

Henderson, a supporter of the LGBTQ community who was heavily criticized for joining Al-Ettifaq during the transfer window, said in an interview last week that he would have stayed at the Merseyside club if he had felt wanted.

READ: Liverpool Confirm Jordan Henderson’s Transfer to Al-Ettifaq

“Hendo said the truth, in all departments, that’s how it was,” Klopp said at a news conference Friday. “If I would have told him ‘Hendo, stay here, you will be the main man in midfield,’ he would have stayed but as much as I wanted him to stay, I couldn’t say that so that’s why it was better that Hendo moved on.

“There’s not a bit of bad blood or whatever.”

Amnesty International says that in Saudi Arabia, members of the LGBT community, including foreigners, “risk imprisonment and corporal punishment for same-sex relations, expressing their identity or support for LGBT rights.”

In an interview with The Athletic, Henderson said he was “really hurt” by the accusation that he had turned his back on the community.

The England international, who was captain of Liverpool when the club won the Premier League and Champions League titles, was one of the many European stars to head to the oil-rich kingdom, where he now reportedly earns 700,000 pounds ($900,000) per week.

ALSO READ: Jurgen Klopp ‘Not Worried’ About Possible Saudi Move For Salah In January

“Liverpool Football Club can confirm Jordan Henderson has completed a transfer to Al-Ettifaq,” the team said in a statement. “The move to the Saudi Pro League side sees the midfielder bring an end to his 12-year Reds career, during which he lifted eight trophies, all but one of which as club captain.”

The Saudi league has targeted a slew of leading players from Europe as part of an ambitious recruitment to raise the profile of football in the country. Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in December and has been followed by stars like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Roberto Firmino during the offseason.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)



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