Jordan Henderson says that he no longer felt “wanted” by Liverpool before completing his transfer to the Saudi Pro League.
The England international joined Al-Ettifaq, which is managed by former teammate Steven Gerrard, this past summer for £12 million.
The 33-year-old expected to remain at Liverpool this season, but he has now revealed that “alarm bells” were sent ringing following a conversation he had with manager Jurgen Klopp after he returned for pre-season training.
“I’ve got a very good relationship with Jurgen,” he told The Athletic. “He was very honest with me. I won’t go into detail about the conversation because it’s private, but it put me in a position where I knew that I wasn’t going to be playing as much. I knew there were going to be new players coming in my position.”
When Liverpool received an approach from Al-Ettifaq, Henderson reveals: “The reaction from the club again wasn’t to say no.
“At that moment I felt as though my value or the want for me to stay, with the manager and within the club, maybe it had shifted. I knew that time would come at some point. I didn’t think it would be now. And I had to accept that.
“I’ve got very good relationships with Jurgen, with the owners of the club. That’ll be forever. What we’ve achieved together in the past 12 years has been incredible. But at the same time, it was hard for me to take that.”
Henderson also claims that no one at Liverpool fought for him to stay at Anfield. “Now, that’s not to say that they forced me out of the club or they were saying they wanted me to leave but at no point did I feel wanted by the club or anyone to stay,” he said.