‘Sad, pitiful’, ‘Handled so poorly’ – Liverpool journalist laments nature of Henderson’s looming exit

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Paul Gorst has lamented the nature of Jordan Henderson’s imminent exit from Liverpool as ‘really sad’ and ‘pitiful’, stating that it’s been ‘handled so poorly’ by the club captain.

It emerged just a few minutes into this evening’s pre-season friendly against Karlsruher that an agreement has been reached for the 33-year-old to join Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ettifaq, with Fabrizio Romano giving the move his trademark ‘here we go’.

A deal worth £12m (plus add-ons) has been agreed in principle (BBC Sport), with the long-serving skipper now looking highly likely to end his 12-year association with the Merseysiders.

Henderson has come in for criticism for accepting a move to a country where homosexuality is criminalised, having previously spoken out strongly in support of the LGBTQI+ community (The Athletic).

Taking to Twitter as he tried to digest this evening’s news, Gorst stated: “Know I’m not alone with this particular ‘hot-take’ but moving to a country where it’s illegal to be in a same-sex relationship after being the most vocal champion of LGBTQ rights is an almost dictionary definition of hypocrisy. This has all been handled so poorly from Henderson.

“And that’s before you factor in his expected departure has been announced midway through a pre-season friendly after he was left out of the squad for said game. Compare that with the send-off Roberto Firmino was given. A really sad, pitiful way to end a legendary Reds career.”

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It is indeed a crying shame that the man who captained Liverpool throughout the trophy-laden Jurgen Klopp era will see his Reds career end so abruptly, and in a manner which seems so much at odds with his public persona.

The way in which Henderson looks set to leave the club threatens to tarnish a legacy which would otherwise have been overwhelmingly positive, but the player would surely have been aware of the implications of a move to Al-Ettifaq before agreeing to the prospective transfer.

As Gorst has said, it doesn’t seem right that such a fantastic stalwart won’t get an Anfield send-off akin to that for Firmino in May, or Gerrard when he departed in 2015, with the 33-year-old instead leaving through the proverbial back door while the teammates he leaves behind focus on the season ahead.

Nobody knew it at the time, but it looks as if the Liverpool career of Jordan Henderson ended with a manic 4-4 draw away to an already-relegated Southampton side to round off a bitterly disappointing season in which the Reds finished in their lowest league position for seven years.

It was anything but the fairytale ending his 12 years at the club had deserved.

You can see Gorst’s tweet below, via @ptgorst on Twitter:

More Stories Al-Ettifaq Jordan Henderson Liverpool Paul Gorst


  1. Good Luck to him.
    He wouldn’t get much playing time this season.
    And the fans would of been on he’s back, he couldn’t win.
    Also I’ve seen ECHO Journalists leave the ECHO, to work for the right-wing press, Colin Wright to the Daily Mail 1986.

  2. Total hypocrisy regarding his ambassadorial LGBT role, laughable really, hypocrisy to the nth degree.

    Legacy in my eyes destroyed.

    Greed has won, good luck but in my mind hes gone.

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