LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 26, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and captain Jordan Henderson celebrate his side's 2-1 victory after the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp “surprised” by Jordan Henderson exit – but “was full of respect”

Jurgen Klopp has admitted he was surprised when Jordan Henderson asked to leave Liverpool.

For various reasons, it came as a shock to many that Henderson had decided to leave his position as club captain.

He now joins Al Ettifaq to play under Steven Gerrard in Saudi Arabia, leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered in two parts.

Klopp admitted he didn’t expect the Henderson to leave this summer but paid tribute to his former captain.

The manager said: “The relationship between Hendo and me grew over nearly eight years.

“I knew exactly the situation, that we want to keep him but, if he wants to leave, there’s no reason why we should throw any rocks or stones in the way.

“It was full of respect and everything you need in a situation like that.”

The German also mentioned how his teammates had reacted, referencing the video below.

Klopp added: “I saw the video on YouTube that the boys made for him.

“I think everyone would wish, if you leave somewhere, your friends would speak like that of you.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson with the trophy as they arrive back to John Lennon Airport, Liverpool. (PA Images)

Klopp stuck by Henderson throughout the pair’s time together.

Thanks to the manager’s coaching, Henderson became one of the standout midfielders for at least a couple seasons, while the team triumphed domestically and in Europe.

He will be a hard man to replace in the dressing room, especially given James Milner also left this summer, but on the pitch he was no longer an automatic starter.

Klopp concluded by saying: “It’s all good. He will miss us, we will miss him. We have to go on.”

The incoming signings have big boots to fill, and so does the next captain.