Jordan Henderson says Steven Gerrard played a big role in his decision to leave Liverpool this summer.

Henderson departed Anfield after 12 years of stellar service in July. His choice of destination – Saudi Arabia’s Al Etiffaq – causing disappointment and shock among the Liverpool fan base.

And now, speaking publicly via BeanymanSports for the first time since the move, the 33-year-old explained a little of his thinking.

Jordan Henderson
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“Stevie [Gerrard] was a big reason obviously why I came to work with him and play under him,” says Henderson. “We’ve had some good training sessions, not many, had one game, so not loads.

“But we need to be ready in the next week or so for the first game and I’m sure we will be. We’ve had some good training sessions, a good result the other night so hopefully we can keep moving things in the right direction and work together to make the team better and more successful.”

Gerrard turns Henderson’s head

Without Gerrard, it’s inconceivable that this transfer would have happened at all. Truly, where else would Henderson have gone?

Back in 2021, with a contract offer seemingly not coming his way, there were rumours that the former captain was attracting interest from the likes of PSG and Atletico Madrid.

But two years on, it seems highly, highly unlikely that that calibre of team would be in for him at all.

Jordan Henderson
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

There’s always the chance Henderson could have moved to another Premier League side. But after so long captaining and winning with Liverpool, that doesn’t seem like something that genuinely could have happened.

So, without the lure of Gerrard – and the ginormous wages on offer – we think Jordan would have stayed put.

In some ways, perhaps it will all be a blessing in disguise. Henderson wasn’t the player he has been last season and was in some respects blocking the progress of the likes of Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic.

With Stevie having plucked him away, Liverpool look a touch light in midfield. But in the medium to long-term, their talented young players will surely feel the benefits.

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