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Official: Liverpool Confirm Jordan Henderson Sale to Al-Ettifaq

The club have belatedly confirmed Henderson’s departure, with Jürgen Klopp wishing the departing player well.

Liverpool FC v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

On Wednesday, now ex-Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson confirmed his departure and took his first training sessions with Al-Ettifaq for new manager Steven Gerrard at the Saudi Pro League side’s training camp in Croatia.

A day later, Liverpool have confirmed his unexpected departure, confirming the official completion of a deal nobody had seen coming when last season ended or even when pre-season training kicked off earlier in the month.

For all the discomfort surrounding the timing of his departure, the manner of it, and the destination, Henderson has been a key part of Jürgen Klopp’s dominant Liverpool side, with 492 appearances in 12 years at the club.

“It is football, it is life,” Klopp said of his 33-year-old captain’s decision to leave the club when faced by the prospect of reduced minutes and the promise of a Saudi payday. “It is normal. These kind of things happen.

“It’s sad, absolutely strange, because he is the only captain I had here at Liverpool, but I think it is exciting for him as well. We will miss him, without a shadow of a doubt, as a man and as a player. But, as I said, that’s football.”

In his time in Red with Klopp, Henderson won the Community Shield, Super Cup, League Cup, FA Cup, Club World Cup, Champions League, and Premier League. He also won a League Cup in 2012 under Kenny Dalglish.

“It is always like this in life, people will only appreciate him properly after he has left,” Klopp added. “That’s how it is. I think he didn’t get the proper appreciation or respect he would have deserved over the years—not from all.

“When people are looking back then they will realise Jordan Henderson was the skipper of the most successful squad until then—I hope we can create another one—and the skipper of the first Premier League title winners.

“That’s a special career. He should be and will be in the future proud of it.

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