Joe Cole has claimed that Gareth Southgate has been put in a ‘difficult situation’ following Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia earlier this summer.
The former Liverpool skipper moved to the Middle East to join up with Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq side in the Saudi Pro League.
A lot has been made of the England international’s move to the Gulf Nation, especially due to the support he has previously shown to the LGBTQ+ community, and ex-Red Cole believes Henderso’s Three Lions future is ‘in jeopardy’.
“From a footballing perspective, I can understand why it puts Gareth in a difficult position,” Cole told Channel 4 (as quoted by Daily Mail).
“When you’re competing with the players Henderson is competing with – Rice, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Phillips – they are all playing in the Champions League [and Europa League].
“Is he going to be as sharp as he was? You have to remember the margins that England went out with against France at the last World Cup.
“You have to be so sharp, every player on the pitch. Henderson will know he’s put his England future in jeopardy.”
Henderson remains a quality midfielder and there’s no doubt that he still could’ve remained at Anfield albeit as more of a squad player.
After winning every major trophy at Anfield and captaining the Reds for eight years, however, he instead decided to head to Saudi and pick up a whopping £700,000 a week.
In an interview completed with The Athletic recently the Sunderland-born midfielder claimed that his move to the Middle East had nothing to do with money but Cole believes our No. 14 ‘slipped up’ by speaking about finances.
“Of course I can understand [why LGBTQ+ fans are upset],” he added. “I see it from both sides. It’s difficult to talk about.
“I think where Jordan slipped up is afterwards when he said he wasn’t going there for the money. It’s a huge contract.
“As an individual, he has the right if he wants to earn that kind of money and bring it back. He could be doing lots of work in the community with that.
“Look, Jordan is a good lad at heart. He’s represented Liverpool and England very well. It’s difficult to talk about.”
At the end of day Henderson was a brilliant captain for Liverpool and he can be proud of everything he achieved during his time at the club.
It’s a shame that there’s so much controversy regarding his decision to move to Al Ettifaq – it’s not as if he’s the only player to have moved there in recent times!