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Jordan Henderson completes Ajax transfer after Saudi Arabia contract terminated

Jordan Henderson has completed his transfer to Ajax — after having his contract at Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq terminated by mutual consent.

Henderson only completed his move to Saudi Arabia six months ago after ending his 12-year stay at Liverpool.

Henderson has said upon his exit from Al Ettifaq: “I’d like to thank the club, the fans and all involved for the opportunity and wish them the best for the remainder of the season. A lot of hard work is going in which I know will pay off in the future.”

The midfielder accumulated 492 appearances as Liverpool captain and played a key role in the side’s Champions League success in 2019 and their long-awaited Premier League title the following year.

In an exclusive interview with The Athletic in September, Henderson “achieve something special and build a club and build the league”.

Henderson made 17 appearances in the SPL, registering four assists, but leaves midway through his first season at Al Ettifaq — where he was managed by his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

Last June, the Saudi Arabia ministry of sport announced the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was to take control of four teams in the Saudi Pro League: Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal and Al Nassr.

Al Ettifaq were not taken over by the PIF, but did enjoy significant investment with Moussa Dembele, Georginio Wijnaldum and Demarai Gray among those joining Henderson at the club.

Al Ettifaq have struggled for form this season and currently sit eighth in the SPL, and are without a win in nine matches across all competitions — a run in which they have scored just three goals.

Ajax, meanwhile, struggled for much of 2023. After recording their worst Eredivisie finish (third place) since 2008-09 last term, the Amsterdam club began this season in dismal form.

Ajax were second bottom in the league having won only five points from their opening seven Eredivisie fixtures but have since stabilised under head coach John van ‘t Schip as seven wins and two draws in nine matches have seen them rise into fifth place.

(Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

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