Jordan Henderson DID move to Saudi Arabia ‘for the money’ insists Chris Sutton… who questions if he could ‘stomach the fight for his place’ against Liverpool’s new signings on preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’

Jordan Henderson has moved to Saudi Arabia ‘for the money’, insists Chris Sutton… who wonders if he can ‘compete’ against Liverpool’s new signings in ‘It’s All Coming Up’ preview show ‘

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Chris Sutton insists Jordan Henderson should have said his move to Saudi Arabia was a money motive, following a public backlash to his controversial interview.

The former Liverpool captain broke his silence when he joined Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq, insisting he had gone to ‘grow the game’ in Saudi Arabia and because his ‘value had shifted’ at Liverpool.

Henderson denied reports that he was making as much as £700,000 a week and that his intention was ‘never to hurt anyone’.

The England international is an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and his move to a country where homosexuality is a criminal offense has been condemned by gay rights groups.

Sutton on Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Coming Up’ – the little brother of the weekly ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ podcast – said Henderson will ‘bury his head in the sand’ after the interview and wondered if he would ‘take the fight can take on’ against Liverpool’s new summer signings.

Chris Sutton (right) told Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman (left) that Jordan Henderson moved to Saudi Arabia for the money, despite the midfielder denying the claims in an interview

Henderson's interview with The Athletic to explain his move has drawn public backlash

Henderson’s interview with The Athletic to explain his move has drawn public backlash

Sutton said Henderson (left) will 'bury his head in the sand' during his interview

Sutton said Henderson (left) will ‘bury his head in the sand’ during his interview

He told Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman: ‘So you know he went to Saudi Arabia for the money, don’t you? That’s it in essence. I don’t know why he doesn’t stick to that and just say so. And then I think everyone would understand.

“You know, if Jordan Henderson was questioned a few years ago about the possibility of going to Saudi Arabia when the league was still running, we know he wouldn’t have had any interest.

“The only interest that goes to Saudi Arabia is that people make huge amounts of money. And you know what? That’s no problem. But just say it, you know, don’t get involved in discussions of culture, you know, other people will stick their heads in the sand.

“The only person burying his head anywhere is Jordan Henderson and you know he shouldn’t be burying his head right now.”

Mail Sport’s Ladyman, meanwhile, said Henderson has ‘dig a hole for himself’ due to his previous support for the LGBTQ+ community and expressed surprise that he has not been fighting for his place at Liverpool.

He said: “Chris, the hole Jordan has dug for himself is related to his past support of the LGBTQ+ community and how this is going to play out with him in a country like Saudi Arabia. That is the problem.

‘That’s why he talks. I think this is the situation he is trying to explain. And I think we both agree that he didn’t do very well at it. One of the things that fascinated me about the interview was more of a football nugget.

When Jordan explained that he left Liverpool not for the money, he says, but because he didn’t think he would fit into Jurgen Klopp’s plans. Jordan Henderson has never seen me as the type of football player who does not want to keep fighting for his place.’

Sutton wondered if Henderson could

Henderson would not have been a guaranteed starter due to signings like Dominik Szoboszlai

Sutton wondered if Henderson could take on ‘the battle for position’ at Liverpool against new signings including Alexis Mac Allister (left) and Dominik Szoboszlai (right)

In response, Sutton questioned whether Henderson was ready to fight for his place at Liverpool against new signings including Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister.

He said, “It kind of surprised me, the type of character I think we’ve all experienced Jordan over the years as a real fighter. But the things he talked about, the conversation with Jorg (Schmadtke – Liverpool sporting director) and (Jurgen) Klopp and the feeling that he was not appreciated, I don’t understand.

“He was still under contract with Liverpool and maybe he just couldn’t fight for his place against players like McAllister and Szoboszlai.”

‘It’s All Coming Up’ is the snappy, short and sharp little brother to Mail Sport’s new weekly podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’, featuring lead football writer Ian Ladyman and star columnist Chris Sutton in a heated Zoom chat ahead of the weekend.