Jordan Henderson could soon join the growing band of veteran players departing European football for the riches on offer in the Saudi Pro League.
The Liverpool captain is wanted by Al-Ettifaq following their appointment of Anfield legend Steven Gerrard as manager. Henderson isn’t even the only player with Liverpool connections wanted, with Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho both also being targeted.
Liverpool are giving Henderson time to make his decision, although Jurgen Klopp has informed his skipper he doesn’t want him to go and remains an important part of the plans.
Ultimately, Liverpool will not block a transfer should Henderson decide he wants to take the offer, thought to be worth £700,000 per week – or more than £36m per year.
It has already stirred up major controversy given the player’s past support of LGBTQ+ causes when homosexuality and same-sex relationships remain illegal in Saudi Arabia.
If he does opt to take the money, Liverpool will need a new captain for the first time since 2015 when Henderson inherited the armband from the aforementioned Gerrard.
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Goalkeepers can often be favoured as captains because they can see the whole pitch and observe games in a way other players are unable to while the action is going on.
Alisson is about to go into his sixth Liverpool season and has been crucial since day one. It’s also worth noting Roman Weidenfeller regularly captained Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.
There are few more hardworking players than Andrew Robertson anywhere in the Premier League. That attitude always equates to respect, which is a vital attribute to be a captain.
The left-back already has experience with an armband, having first been named Scotland skipper at international level as far back as 2018 and leading his country at Euro 2020.
There is always something a little special about a captain who is both home-grown through the academy and local to the area. Trent Alexander-Arnold ticks both boxes.
At 24, the full-back/midfielder would be a relatively young captain. But he’s been a first-team regular for more than five years and is actually older already than Steven Gerrard was when he was named permanent Liverpool captain way back in October 2003.
Mohamed Salah will leave Anfield as a Liverpool legend, whenever that day comes, for everything he has achieved in the shirt since arriving in the summer of 2017.
The Egyptian, who has captained his country since 2019, has never scored fewer than 19 goals in a Premier League season as a Liverpool player and is more a ‘lead by example’ option.
With Jordan Henderson not always a starter, Virgil van Dijk has actually been captaining Liverpool on a semi-regular basis since his first full season with the club in 2018/19.
It is the most obvious choice for the armband succession, with the towering Dutch defender already a commanding leader and an experienced international captain since early 2018.