Jordan Henderson moves to Ajax after Al-Ettifaq agree contract termination

Jordan Henderson has joined Ajax after Saudi club Al-Ettifaq agreed to terminate his contract.

Ajax announced on Thursday the England midfielder had signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Amsterdam outfit.

Henderson joined Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool on a three-year contract last summer but has opted to cut his stay in the Middle East short.

Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by Steven Gerrard, confirmed they had reached an amicable settlement with the 33-year-old.

A statement from the Dutch club read: “Ajax has reached an agreement with Jordan Henderson on his transfer to Amsterdam.

“The free agent, former Sunderland and Liverpool player, signed a contract at Ajax lasting two-and-a-half years, until June 30, 2026.”

The signing was completed after Henderson, who has 81 England caps, finalised terms and underwent a medical earlier on Thursday.

Ajax coach John van’t Schip told the club’s website: “We wanted an experienced midfielder with leadership qualities.

“Partially due to injuries in the team, we were looking for someone who could step in immediately. Jordan Henderson is that type of player.

“His arrival means a huge enhancement for our squad. Both on and off the pitch, a football player of this calibre is important for our many young players.

“He’s an English international player and has won the Champions League and many other prizes with Liverpool. I am happy he’s here.”

The move became possible after Al-Ettifaq agreed to Henderson’s request to leave.

A statement read: “Al-Ettifaq FC of the Roshin Saudi League and Jordan Henderson have today mutually agreed to terminate the player’s contract with the club with immediate effect.

“The decision follows an amicable conclusion to the relationship with the player.”

Club president Samer Al Misehal added: “The club and Jordan believe this quick decision, without any delay or further distraction, has been made for the overall good of the club and Jordan.”

Henderson said there were no hard feelings about the matter.

He said in a statement issued by Al-Ettifaq: “I’d like to thank the club, the fans and all involved for the opportunity and wish them the best for the remainder of the season.

“A lot of hard work is going on which I know will pay off in the future.”

Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia, where same-sex relationships are illegal, caused controversy in the UK as he had previously been a high-profile supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

He subsequently apologised for any hurt caused but was booed off the pitch at Wembley during an England friendly against Australia in October.

Henderson is unlikely to be able to make his Ajax debut against RKC Waalwijk as he is still awaiting international clearance.

Ajax are currently fifth in the Eredivisie, having recovered from a poor start to the new domestic campaign which saw previous head coach Maurice Steijn depart after just 11 games in charge.

The move could enhance Henderson’s hopes of securing a place in the England squad for Euro 2024 this summer.

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