Jordan Henderson facing an uncertain future at Liverpool after extension talks stall
Liverpool focused on new deals for Alisson, Salah, Fabinho this summer
Henderson will be 33 when his contract expires in 2023
Earlier this summer, Liverpool lost influential midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris St. Germain after the expiration of his contract. Liverpool reportedly had interest in signing Wijnaldum to a new deal, but the two sides were ultimately unable to come to an agreement. So, the 31-year-old instead opted to take his talents to Ligue 1 on a lucrative new contract.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool could be facing a similar situation with another veteran midfielder in the near future. The club is in talks with a number of its key players about contract extensions, but similar talks have stalled with captain Jordan Henderson. Henderson, who helped England reach the final of Euro 2020 earlier this summer, is set to enter the final two seasons of his current pact at Anfield.
🚨 Significant uncertainty over Jordan Henderson’s Liverpool future. Talks to renew contract (2023) began weeks ago & no real progress. Neither side want a Wijnaldum repeat so it may open the door to 31yo leaving. W/ @JamesPearceLFC for @TheAthleticUK #LFC https://t.co/AX9K2r7597
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 19, 2021
Henderson has been a huge part of Liverpool’s recent success under Jurgen Klopp. The 31-year-old just completed his 10th season with the team, and he has been the club’s captain since Steven Gerrard left for MLS in 2015. Liverpool won the 2019 Champions League before winning the Premier League for the first time in 2020 with Henderson captaining the side.
The Reds are expected to announce new deals for both goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Fabinho before the end of the summer. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are among the other players expected to remain in the team’s long-term plans.
Henderson Contract Talks Stall
The Athletic reported that extension talks with Henderson’s camp have taken place, but no significant progress has been made. While the discussions haven’t fully broken down, both sides realize the awkward reality of the situation. While most of the other players expected to receive new deals are still in their 20s, Henderson will turn 32 next June.
Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, have prioritized investing in youth in the past. The club reportedly would have considered selling Wijnaldum with a year left on his deal last summer, but no offers came down. With Henderson turning 33 before the expiration of his current deal, there is a very real chance that he will leave Anfield as soon as next summer if the two sides cannot strike a deal.
According to The Athletic, there is a chance Henderson could follow Wijnaldum to Paris. PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly a fan of Henderson’s, and would have interest in bringing the Englishman to the Parc de Princes if Liverpool decide against a long-term deal. A move to Atletico Madrid, where he would be reunited with former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez, is also an option.
Henderson’s importance to Liverpool cannot be understated. Klopp has remained steadfast in his support for Henderson in the captain’s role, and the manager has credited Henderson with being the most important voice in the team’s rise to glory in recent years. The Athletic says that Henderson would already have a new deal if the decision were Klopp’s to make.
Of course, that isn’t the case. The Wijnaldum situation serves as a potential sign of things to come. Klopp would have preferred to keep Wijnaldum in the side, but Liverpool wound up letting him leave without getting anything in return.
LFC Expected To Spend in 2022
Liverpool have been largely quiet on the transfer market this summer after a third-place finish in the Premier League last summer. Save for a move for Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, FSG has been more focused on spending money to keep the current squad together for as long as possible. Rather than spending big on another signing, Liverpool will likely let squad rotation players like Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson leave.
FSG seems to have circled 2022 as the year the group will spend more money in an attempt to fortify the squad. While most of Klopp’s key pieces are still very young, van Dijk (30), Thiago (30), and Roberto Firmino (29) are all getting up there in years. James Milner, who has served as Henderson’s vice-captain since Gerrard’s departure, may also be set to leave the club following the expiration of his deal next summer.
Henderson said in 2018 that he would prefer to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his career, but whether that happens will likely be up to whether the club wants it to.
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