‘I did exactly that’ – Souness launches Henderson defence as Liverpool captain closes in on Saudi move

Ben Stewart
Graeme Souness looks on while working for Sky Sports.
Graeme Souness looks on while working for Sky Sports.

Graeme Souness has come to the defence of Jordan Henderson as the Liverpool captain nears a move to Al-Ettifaq to link up with Steven Gerrard.

The Saudi outfit are reportedly willing to pay Henderson £700,000 per week to join them and the 33-year-old is keen on the move.

Henderson has come under fire for taking the contract as he has been a vocal supporter of the LGBT+ community.

Souness has defended the Liverpool captain though and has drawn a comparison to his move to Italy in the 1980s.

“Do I have a problem with it? Well, no. I mean, I did exactly that. I went off to play in Italy when I was 31, you know, feeling I’d done all I could have done there. And I went for the dosh,” Souness told talkSPORT.

“I think when you come to the end of your career and you can get a pay day like these boys can get now by going out to Saudi Arabia, I think for the majority of them, they would take that. For some people, it wouldn’t be on.

“I think where Jordan runs into trouble is with his pronouncements in terms of supporting LGBTQ+ cause and also supporting the Rainbow Laces cause in such a very outspoken way and then to be taking the money. I think that’s where he’s going to get criticism.

“He’d have thought about that, I’m sure. These boys don’t go to the loo without consulting someone. He will have had advisers and I would imagine it would be down to him ultimately and he’s decided to go for it.”

According to Fabrizio Romano, Liverpool will receive around £12m for Henderson, who is contracted at Anfield until 2025.

The 33-year-old featured in 43 matches across all competitions last season, with 35 of those appearances coming in the Premier League.

“In terms of the money, the money they can offer is incredible,” Souness adds. “In football, you have a lot of life to live after playing football. So in that respect, he’s made the right decision for both himself and his family.

“But it’s just his statements prior to and during the last World Cup and being very supportive of these causes and that will come back and bite him. People will never forget that.”

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