Jordan Henderson has ended an illustrious 12-year spell at Liverpool and it has left fans conflicted by the turbulent nature of his departure.
Henderson leaves the club as one of the most decorated captains in the club’s history and will unfortunately not get the chance to say a final goodbye to Anfield in the same way that James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were all able to do at the end of the season.
Such a legendary figure going in such acrimonious circumstances has made it difficult for fans to process their emotions, with lots agreeing that his incredible career should be acknowledged and many others arguing that the way it has been handled has tarnished his legacy.
The midfielder has been a high-profile ally for the LGBTQ+ community during his time on Merseyside, but his decision to move to a country where it is illegal to openly be part of those groups has made it difficult for many to accept the nature of his exit.
Let’s assess the mood of the fanbase as they react to one of Liverpool’s most significant and controversial sales in recent years.
There were no shortage of tributes to a Liverpool legend…
He won the lot. An absolute credit to the club & a massive part in our success. He leaves a true legend ????pic.twitter.com/Frg3n6T6OC
— Jamie Holme (@JamieHolme) July 26, 2023
I don't care what some minority of fans might say, but @JHenderson was an outstanding captain, player, and a proper man who proudly led #LFC to endless glory. "Underrated" could be a word to describe him best.Thanks so much for everything Jordan, and best of luck in what to come.
— Ziad Mansour (@zmansour75) July 26, 2023
Thank you for everything, Jordan Henderson. Captain. Leader. Legend. YNWA. ?? pic.twitter.com/bVNtu6ikij
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) July 26, 2023
— Ricky (@RickyMann4) July 26, 2023
Turned doubter to believers, made everyone’s dreams come true. Refused a loan to Fulham, fought for the badge and won the lot. One of the greatest leaders we’ve had! Captain, Hero ?? pic.twitter.com/kUGhgU4RR9
— WHITEY! (@YnwaWhitey) July 26, 2023
Gave me memories that will last forever
He’s won the lot
He’s Jordan Henderson and he’s never gonna stop
my idol ?? https://t.co/m9xSViay8J
— James Cumiskey (@jamescumiskey18) July 26, 2023
Others were more conflicted in how best to sum it up…
Mad that after all he’s achieved, Jordan Henderson won’t get a proper farewell in front of the fans. Such a strange and sad end to someone who will go down a Liverpool legend.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) July 26, 2023
Is it possible to simultaneously have enormous admiration and respect for what Henderson has achieved over the course of his Liverpool career, think he’s been an absolutely brilliant captain, and also feel a bit disappointed by the manner of his departure?
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) July 26, 2023
Can’t take away what Jordan Henderson brought to the side and helped deliver in 12 terrific years of service. He’s a Liverpool legend.
Equally, we can’t ignore the blatant hypocrisy underlining his switch to Saudi Arabia – a regime that despises the LGBT community. Let down #LFC
— Farrell Keeling (@farrellkeeling) July 26, 2023
His exit and next step don’t align to his conduct and tenure as captain of #LFC. It’s a sad end to what’s been an incredible journey for Jordan Henderson. His impact as a player will always be a debate, but his influence as a leader has been immense. History will remember that.
— Si Steers (@sisteers) July 26, 2023
Really conflicted on the Henderson one. Came to Liverpool, was almost pushed out the door, stayed, became captain and won the lot. However this move to Saudi and everything the regime there does regarding LGBTQ+ rights has left me feeling disappointed in him
— Damien McLaren (@DamienMcLaren) July 26, 2023
Jordan Henderson should have had a proper Anfield send off. Going via an Instagram video is such a sad way to end it all.
— Danny Patterson (@Danny_Patto) July 26, 2023
It’s possible to love Jordan Henderson and hate the manner of his exit. He’s a Liverpool legend and been an exemplary captain. He showed great character to first save his LFC career and then prove his quality, winning over (most) of his critics.
— Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) July 26, 2023
Ultimately, it was hard to disguise the disappointment in the way it ended…
No big hot take to offer on Henderson other than it all feels like a bit of a shrug now. As things do when they are transactional. Given he played 492 times for the club, it really shouldn’t be that way. Shame.
— Gareth Roberts (@robbohuyton) July 26, 2023
Think the Henderson thing has been handled so badly from start to finish.
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) July 26, 2023
I adored Henderson. He should’ve left #LFC as a conquering hero, carried through the streets of Anfield. Instead, he’s snuck out the back door, having betrayed the people he purported to represent. It will never not be an incredibly sad goodbye.
— And Could He Play (@andcouldheplay7) July 26, 2023
Jordan Henderson releases a goodbye video on Instagram, states he’ll always be a Red, after being seen training with Al-Ettifaq in Croatia earlier.
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) July 26, 2023
It feels like the most unexpected, undignified ending for Jordan Henderson. Regardless, he’s the most successful Liverpool captain in my lifetime, and will go down as one of the greatest Liverpool captains ever. It’s a sad day, but it was coming. pic.twitter.com/Bt6j9GovHG
— Danny Gallagher (@Danny7Gallagher) July 26, 2023
Almost an hour after Henderson's Instagram video went live, nothing from either club involved in the transfer.
Published it before the deal is fully complete? Just adds to the amateurish nature of it all.
— Matt Ladson (@mattladson) July 26, 2023
No doubting his contribution as captain. Truly historic. He won the lot. But it is impossible now to feel anything but disappointment at both the manner of his departure and the abandonment of the ideals he so vocally espoused #Henderson https://t.co/R1UUZyNiSW
— Jeff Goulding (@ShanklysBoys1) July 26, 2023
A truly botched exit for a Liverpool Captain who should’ve left with warm wishes from a packed Anfield.
— Hari Sethi (@Hari_Sethi) July 26, 2023
It is fair to say that Henderson’s departure and the way it played out has caught many supporters off guard this summer.
While this ought to be a time when the player and captain is warmly lauded for his exceptional contribution to the club as he bids farewell, the reality is that it hasn’t ended how anybody would have hoped.
There is no right or wrong answer in terms of how to feel in this particular situation, but it is clear that there are mixed feelings throughout the fanbase as we continue to digest the news.