Brendan Rodgers has given his take on Jordan Henderson’s controversial deicision to leave Liverpool this summer.

Henderson has come in for a barrage of criticism since swapping the Reds for Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq in July. The latest of wave of anger as a result of a potentially misjudged interview yesterday.

But, speaking on TalkSPORT today, former Liverpool manager Rodgers has come to the 33-year-old’s defence.

Jordan Henderson
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“We love the game, we love football and we are all fortune enough to work in the profession and been in and around it but for these young guys it’s a profession, it’s their life. They have to do what is best for them,” said the now Celtic boss.

“The challenge is there is so many morality officers around the world nowadays that are judging people and the Jordan I know extremely well, I know the love he had for Liverpool and will always have for Liverpool but he was at the stage of his career where he probably wasn’t going to be the first name on the team sheet any more.

“He’s 32 [33], has won absolutely everything, and probably has fancied a different challenge. Out of respect, he’s probably decided to go abroad and taking on a new challenge clearly suited him.”

So there we have it. Henderson only moved to Saudi Arabia out of *checks notes* respect for Liverpool.

Rodgers offers Henderson backing

Given the very legitimate questions surrounding Henderson’s transfer this summer, it feels a little reductive for Rodgers to dismiss criticisms as the ‘morality officers’ getting upset.

Henderson has deserved the stick that has come his way, and given a public platform yesterday, didn’t do a very good way of responding to it.

Of course, Rodgers is welcome to his view, and he knows his former player far better than we do. But this isn’t a great look.

Jordan Henderson
Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

There was a moment during Henderson’s interview yesterday where he appeared to suggest that his only option was to move to Saudi Arabia.

“I’d love to sit here and say that every club under the sun was wanting me,” he told The Athletic. “But the reality was that they weren’t. Liverpool is where my kids were born; I’ve achieved so much there. I love the club, I love the fans and the thought of playing against them would have been a different challenge in a different way. And it wasn’t something that I felt was right for me.”

In that respect, that’s fair enough. But this can not have been the only option for Henderson to avoid facing his old club. To suggest otherwise is borderline ridiculous.

Of course, the former captain could just have stayed at Anfield. Because for all his suggestions that Jurgen Klopp no longer wanted him, the Reds would surely have been happy to keep their skipper.

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