Jordan Henderson: Ajax sign England international after midfielder terminates Al Ettifaq contract | Transfer Centre News

Jordan Henderson has completed a move to Ajax on a two-and-half-year deal, just six months after signing for Al Etiffaq.

The Saudi Pro League side “mutually agreed” to terminate Henderson’s contract with immediate effect allowing the England international to move to the Dutch side on a free transfer.

The ex-Liverpool captain had joined Al Ettifaq in July on a three-year deal but after an “amicable conclusion” Henderson has been allowed to leave after playing just 19 times for the Saudi side.

The 33-year-old, who will now play in the Netherlands, said on social media: “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 & the fans for all the support during my time. I really felt the love from day one. I’ll keep watching & hoping for your success. Good luck for the future.”

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Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol explains how Al Ettifaq will be affected by Jordan Henderson’s proposed exit from the club.

Meanwhile, Al Ettifaq club president Samer Al Misehal said said: “Firstly, the club would like to thank Jordan for his efforts and wish him the best for his future endeavours.

“We are always respectful of our players. The club and Jordan believe this quick decision, without any delay or further distraction, has been made for both the overall good of the club and for Jordan.”

Ajax boss: Henderson adds experience and leadership qualities

Henderson will wear the number six shirt at Ajax, who have endured a difficult season so far as they sit fifth in the Eredvisie, 23 points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven.

Ajax boss John van ‘t Schip said: “We wanted an experienced midfielder with leadership qualities. Partially due to injuries in the team, we were looking for someone who could step in immediately. Jordan Henderson is that type of player.

“His arrival means a huge enhancement for our squad. Both on and off the pitch, a football player of this calibre is important for our many young players.

“He’s an English international player and has won the Champions League and many other prizes with Liverpool.

“I am happy he’s here, and I think it’s very good for our club that he’s an Ajacied from today onwards.”

Saudi Pro League vice-chairman: A shame things didn’t work out

Saudi Pro League vice-chairman Saad Allazeez said it was “a shame” that Henderson’s time at Al Ettifaq had to be cut short but “no one is to blame.”

He said: “This is all just part of football, all across the world and life, across all careers. Sometimes despite best efforts people don’t always adjust or settle and that can impact performances and lead to frustrations for all. Jordan is a good guy and it’s a shame that things didn’t work out for him, but he’d be the first to admit that full support was given to him and respect shown. So everyone tried and no one is to blame.

“Looking ahead we are very positive and expect more good players to come in. But, of course, some will move on too. That comes with being a top league, especially when you consider squads are capped. So, we’d expect the flow of talent to go both ways. But overall, we are very happy at the progress and growth in just half a season. Firm foundations have been laid for future strength.”

Follow the January transfer window

The winter transfer window is now open and will close at 11pm in England and midnight in Scotland on Thursday 1 February, 2024.

To ensure harmonisation with the major leagues in Europe, the closing dates were set following discussions with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP, who will all close their summer and winter windows on 1 September and 1 February respectively

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, while you can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News, including daily transfer shows, and listen to our Transfer Talk podcast.

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