What a whirlwind the last few days have been. Liverpool’s active Captain, Jordan Henderson, has seemingly been seduced by his predecessor in the role, Steven Gerrard, to make the auspicious jump to the Saudi Pro League.
Reports began surfacing early Thursday that Henderson had agreed personal terms with Al-Ettifaq, and that it was up to the clubs to negotiate the fee.
It appeared Liverpool would be looking for somewhere around 10 million GBP for their leader, but the final price would probably come closer to double that. Henderson, 33, might very well see the writing on the wall in terms of his play time next season.
The club have brought in the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai to reinvigorate the midfield. In addition, they have been linked to a host of other potential recruits.
Both of those players will definitely be crucial members to the Starting XI sooner than later. It is becoming clear that Henderson has been swayed by doubling his weekly wages while being guaranteed significant playing time under Gerrard.
On the surface this makes sense for both parties. Liverpool move on an aging player for a decent profit and that player gets to make a lot of money and extend their playing days with less demanding surroundings.
However, there is something special about wearing the Armband at Liverpool FC that doesn’t allow you to go the normal transfer routine. While the club have a host of potential new leaders lined up, it’s still a surprising twist to see a Captain so quickly turned to a new project.
In addition, it is now reported a 40 million bid is incoming from Al-Ittihad for the Brazilian Fabinho. However, with only the talented, but young Stefan Bajectic as the only other No. 6 close to the first team, their is hesitancy from the club.
Fabinho is also 4 years younger than Henderson, meaning there should be no quick rush to move him on after one pedestrian season. Surrounding him with new pieces could be the key he needs to bounce back.
If the club were to move both of these players, one elite midfielder would need to be brought in. If not, two project long-term options would do the trick.
It’s a sudden turn of events at the club, when it looked as if the midfield was fully stocked for the coming season. To potentially lose two crucial veteran pieces was not expected. Luckily, the transfer window is still open for some time, so they can alleviate the damage.
The writing looks like it’s on the wall for Henderson to depart, but I think keeping Fabinho would be the correct decision. However, as we have learned this summer more than most, money talks.
Let’s see if the right numbers are thrown around and if Liverpool are willing to do business.