Jurgen Klopp reveals how he felt when Henderson first told him he wanted to leave Liverpool

Posted by

Jurgen Klopp has revealed how he felt when Jordan Henderson first informed him of his wish to leave Liverpool.

The 33-year-old ended his lengthy association with the Reds this week when his transfer to Al Ettifaq was confirmed, with the midfielder moving to Saudi Arabia after 12 years at Anfield.

It came as a seismic shock to many when the first rumours of the move emerged earlier this month, and it seems the Englishman’s own manager was no exception.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s friendly against Leicester in Singapore on Sunday, Klopp was inevitably asked about Henderson and admitted to being taken aback when learning of the player’s desire to depart the club.

The Reds boss replied (via Liverpool Echo): “Was I surprised when Henderson said he wanted to move on? Of course. We had a relationship for eight years.

“He knew the situation that we wanted to keep him but if he wanted to leave we weren’t going to throw rocks and stones in the way. It was about reacting to it.”

READ MORE: Liverpool could now sign ‘exceptionally bright’ midfielder for 50% less than reported in June

READ MORE: ‘He will be captain’ – Jurgen Klopp drops early Liverpool team news hint for Leicester clash

It appears that not even those who’ve worked closely with Henderson for some time were immune to the shock that his move to the Saudi Pro League has caused.

Although the player reportedly told the Liverpool squad that one reason for leaving was a desire not to hold the club back, it was Klopp’s intervention which proved pivotal in the midfielder penning a new contract at Anfield two years ago when he and the board appeared to be at an impasse (The Mirror).

Still, the manager has never stood in the way of any player who opted to move on from the Reds, seeing previous stalwarts like Philippe Coutinho, Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane, James Milner and Bobby Firmino depart on his watch.

In the case of the first three, LFC moved on and either signed replacements or adapted accordingly, so in all likelihood they’ll do the same again with Henderson. Indeed, by recruiting Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai this summer, they’ve already replenished their midfield to some degree.

Klopp and his former skipper will always treasure the eight years they spent together at Liverpool, but nothing in football is forever, and the manager’s focus will be firmly on what else can be achieved at Anfield going forwards rather than pining for heroes of the past.

#Ep83 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: EOTK Insider with Neil Jones

More Stories Jordan Henderson Jürgen Klopp Liverpool