'Money has never been a motivation': Jordan Henderson hits back at claims he only moved to Saudi Arabia for cash

Jordan Henderson of Al-Ettifaq reacts during the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Ettifaq and Damak at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium on September 02, 2023 in Ad Dammam, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jordan Henderson has explained that he joined Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia due to footballing reasons, rather than because of the offer of lucrative financial incentives.

Leaving Liverpool in July earlier this summer, Henderson linked back up with manager Steven Gerrard - his old captain at Liverpool a decade ago - in the Saudi Pro League. 

In conversation with The Athletic, Henderson described how Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made it clear that he wouldn't have as many opportunities for minutes in the 2023/24 season as he looked to reshape the midfield. Wanting first-team minutes, the 33-year-old highlighted that Gerrard presented an enticing project in which they could build a successful club. 

Jordan Henderson poses in Al-Ettifaq shirt

Henderson joined Al-Ettifaq for £12m (Image credit: Al-Ettifaq)

"Stevie never mentioned money," Henderson told The Athletic. "Everything I spoke to Stevie about was football and the project. 

"And he actually said he didn’t want to get involved in any of the money stuff. It was all about what we could do together to achieve something special and build a club and build the league."

For Henderson, moving to Al-Ettifaq had nothing to do with money. He is keen to stress that conversations revolved primarily around football, though he of course recognises that financial propositions can incentivise a deal, too. 

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"People will see this club come with loads of money and he’s just gone, 'Yeah, I’m going.' When in reality that just wasn’t the case at all," Henderson said. "People can believe me or not, but in my life and my career, money has never been a motivation. Ever. 

"Don’t get me wrong, when you move, the business deal has to be tight. You have to have financials, you have to feel wanted, you have to feel valued. And money is a part of that. But that wasn’t the sole reason. And these possibilities came up before money was even mentioned."

Since joining Al-Ettifaq, Henderson has captained the side in four Saudi Pro League games. His side have won twice, drawn once and lost once with him playing, with England manager Gareth Southgate deeming his performances worthy of selection for the latest England squad

Jordan Henderson of England talks to former England player Steven Gerrard prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying round group C match between England and North Macedonia at Old Trafford on June 19, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Henderson and Gerrard have been reunited  (Image credit: Getty Images)

More Jordan Henderson, Liverpool and England stories

Gay former Premier League star Thomas Hitzlsperger has claimed Henderson's 'brand is dead' following his move to Saudi Arabia. 

The England squad for September internationals against Ukraine and Scotland has been announced, with Henderson included and a young duo receiving their first call-ups. 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp delivers update on Mohamed Salah transfer

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