The England midfielder, 33, has agreed a deal worth £12m plus additional terms. In a farewell video a day earlier, Henderson announced he was leaving the club after 12 years with the Premier League and Champions League.
“Everyone at the club wants to express their thanks and gratitude for all that Jordan has done for us,” a statement from Liverpool said.
Henderson has been at Liverpool since joining from Sunderland in a £20m deal in June 2011. He played 492 times for the Reds, scoring 33 goals and providing 57 assists, while also winning seven major trophies with the club.
“You are a legend,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in a video on the club’s social media.
“I know people have been saying lately that we use that word a little too often. I can tell you that’s not the case for you.”
Henderson, who signed a deal until 2026 with Al-Ettifaq,
will reunite with former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who is now the manager of the Saudi Pro League team.
The pair were teammates at the Anfield club before Gerrard left in 2015. “I know it was a really, really difficult decision for Hendo and I was with or with him the whole time,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.
“It’s sad, totally weird, because he’s the only captain I’ve ever had at Liverpool, but I think it’s also very exciting for him.
“We will miss him, no doubt, that’s for sure – as a man and as a player. But, like I said, this is football.”
Henderson was Liverpool’s captain in 2015 and led the team to the Champions League title in 2019 before winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup later that year.
He also captained the Reds as the club won the 2019-20 Premier League to end a 30-year wait for the title of England’s top league. Henderson’s other trophies at Liverpool include winning the FA Cup in 2022 and the League Cup in 2012 and 2022.
He traveled with Liverpool to their training camp in Germany but did not participate in their pre-season opener against Karlsruher on July 19 after a provisional agreement was reached between them and Al-Ettifaq.
“Everything is fine now, but it’s been going on for a while, so we’ve had time to adapt and get used to it,” said Klopp.
“It’s football, it’s life, it’s normal, these things happen.
“On Monday when we returned to Liverpool, Hendo expected us to say goodbye to the team and the coaching staff properly, so it was a very nice gesture – one that should be done.”
Fans posted words of thanks to Henderson on social media following the release of her farewell video, while Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ charity that organizes the Rainbow Laces campaign, thanked Henderson.
for its support. However, Henderson has been criticized by some LGBTQ+ activists over the transfer, as same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Players have openly supported the LGBTQ+ community in the past.
“So Jordan Henderson has finally moved to Saudi Arabia,” former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, who left in 2014, said in a social media post.
The migration of players to Saudi Arabia
Henderson is the latest of several big names to move to Saudi Arabia this summer.
His former Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino, whose contract with the Anfield club has expired, has joined Al-Ahli, who has also signed Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Chelsea and agreed a deal. £30m deal for Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.
Meanwhile, Al-Ittihad have signed former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, former Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Portuguese striker Jota from Celtic.
Al-Hilal, who have made a record £259m bid for Paris St-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, have signed Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves from Wolves and Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Wolves. Chelsea.
Premier League chief Richard Masters told BBC Sport he is not “too worried” about the impact of the Saudi Pro League and their stated plan is to become one of the best in the world over the next few years. He stressed that Saudi clubs have the “right to buy players like any other league”.
The masters added:
“They invest in players and coaches to try to elevate the league and the clubs.
“It took us 30 years to get to where we are in terms of profile, competitiveness and source of income.”