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Saudi Pro League vice-chairman makes shock claim about Jordan Henderson after he terminated his contract at Al Ettifaq

Saudi Pro League vice-chairman makes shock claim about Jordan Henderson after he terminated his contract at Al Ettifaq

Saad Al Lazeez, who is the Saudi Pro League vice-chairman, has commented on Jordan Henderson's stay with the Middle East club.

Saudi Pro League vice-chairman Saad Al Lazeez has given his surprising take on Jordan Henderson's controversial move to Al Ettifaq.

Henderson made just 19 first-team appearances for the Dammam-based club before agreeing to terminate his three-year contract with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who now plays for Eredivisie side Ajax, is said to have struggled to settle into life in the Middle East.

A month after his departure and Saudi Pro League vice-chairman Saad Lazeez was full of praise for the reported £13 million transfer.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit event in London, he said: “Jordan Henderson, even though he left, was one of the best signings in the Saudi Pro League.

"We signed 93 players in the summer window, and I would say 28 to 30 of them would be in anybody’s list of the top 300 players, and you don’t expect all of them to stay."

Lazeez added: "Sometimes things do not work out, sometimes the player does not adapt, you expect those things to happen.

"I still maintain Jordan Henderson was one of our best signings, we benefited a great deal from his signing, we’re learning a lot of lessons and we will continue to grow from there.

"We have been with Jordan throughout his journey from the day we signed him in the UK. We still maintain a good relationship with him. He’s a great guy, a great person. It just did not work out. So that’s life."

Shortly after leaving Al Ettifaq last month, Henderson told the club website: "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."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

He made a further statement on Instagram, writing: "I’m sad to say that I will be leaving Al Ettifaq with immediate effect. It wasn’t an easy decision but one that I feel is best for me and my family.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank the club and the fans for all the support during my time. I really felt the love from day one. I’ll keep watching and hoping for your success. Good luck for the future."

Henderson also apologised to the LGBTQ+ fans hurt by his move to Saudi Arabia.

"If any people from that community feel let down or hurt I apologise," he said.

"If anyone was offended or feels as though I upset them, that’s on me, that was my decision and I apologise for that. It was never my intention.

"I just want to look forward now and concentrate on being the best player I can for Ajax.

"My beliefs have never changed and never will. Again, I can only apologise if people feel let down."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Saudi Pro League, Jordan Henderson, Ajax, Transfers