Henderson 'went off to Saudi Arabia for the money' says Sutton

Jordan Henderson DID move to Saudi Arabia ‘for the money’ insists Chris Sutton… who questions if he could ‘stomach the fight for his place’ against Liverpool’s new signings on preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’ 

  • WATCH: Mail Sport’s preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’ ahead of the big games
  • Chris Sutton has questioned Jordan Henderson’s claims in his interview
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Chris Sutton insists Jordan Henderson should have said his move to Saudi Arabia was money-motivated following a public backlash to his controversial interview. 

The former Liverpool skipper broke his silence on his move to join Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq, insisting that he had gone to ‘grow the game’ in Saudi Arabia and because his ‘value had shifted’ at Liverpool.

Henderson denied reports that he was earning as much as £700,000-per-week and that his intention ‘was never to hurt anyone’.

The England international has been a vocal supporter for LGBTQ+ rights and his move to a country where homosexuality is criminalised has been condemned by gay-rights groups.

Sutton on Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Coming Up’ – little brother of the weekly podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – said Henderson will be ‘burying his head in the sand’ following the interview and questioned whether he could ‘stomach the fight’ against Liverpool’s new summer signings. 

Chris Sutton (right) told Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman (left) that Jordan Henderson did move to Saudi Arabia for the money despite the midfielder rejecting the claims in an interview

Henderson’s interview with The Athletic to explain his move has received public backlash

Sutton said Henderson (left) will have his head ‘buried in the sand’ over his interview

He told Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman: ‘So, you know he went off to Saudi for the money, didn’t he? That’s essentially it. I don’t know why he just doesn’t stick to that and just say that. And then I think everybody would understand it.  

‘You know, a couple of years ago had Jordan Henderson being questioned about the possibility of going to Saudi Arabia when the league was up and running, we know that he wouldn’t have had any interest. 

‘The only interest going to Saudi Arabia is for people to earn huge amounts of money. And do you know what? That’s OK. But just say it, you know, don’t get involved in arguments about culture, you know, and other people are burying their heads in the sand. 

‘The only person who’s burying the head somewhere is Jordan Henderson and that’s somewhere which you know he shouldn’t be burying his head at the minute.’

Mail Sport’s Ladyman meanwhile said that Henderson has a ‘dug a hole’ for himself due to his previous support of the LGBTQ+ community and revealed his surprise that he didn’t fight for his place at Liverpool.

He said: ‘I suppose Chris, the hole that Jordan has dug for himself relates to his previous support of the LGBTQ+ community and how this sits with him going to play in a country like Saudi Arabia. That is the problem. 

‘That is why he’s talking. I think that is the situation he’s trying to explain. And I think we can both agree he’s not made a terribly good job of it. Now, one of the things that did fascinate me about the interview was more of a football nugget. 

‘When Jordan explained that he left Liverpool, not for the money he says, but because he didn’t think he was going to be in Jurgen Klopp’s plans. Jordan Henderson has never struck me as a type of footballer who would not want to hang around and fight for his place.’

Sutton questioned whether Henderson could ‘stomach the fight for his position’ at Liverpool against new signings including Alexis Mac Allister (left) and Dominik Szoboszlai (right)

Sutton in response questioned whether Henderson was up to fight for his Liverpool place against the likes of new signings, including Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister.

He said: ‘It surprised me a little bit, the type of character I think we’ve all perceived Jordan to be over the years as a real fighter. But the stuff he talked about, the conversation with Jorg (Schmadtke – Liverpool’s sporting director) and (Jurgen) Klopp and not feeling valued, I don’t get that. 

‘He was still under contract at Liverpool and maybe he just couldn’t stomach the fight for his place up against, you know, the likes of McAllister and Szoboszlai going in.’

‘It’s All Coming Up’ is the punchy, short and sharp little brother of Mail Sport’s new weekly podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’, featuring Chief Football Writer Ian Ladyman and star columnist Chris Sutton on a heated pre-weekend Zoom chat.

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