Joe Cole claims that Jordan Henderson has put his England career in jeopardy by joining Al-Ettifaq as he suggests former Liverpool star won’t be as sharp as Gareth Southgate’s other midfield options

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Joe Cole claims that Jordan Henderson has put his England career in jeopardy by joining Al-Ettifaq as he suggests former Liverpool star won’t be as sharp as Gareth Southgate’s other midfield options

  • Joe Cole says Jordan Henderson has put his England career in jeopardy 
  • Cole feels Henderson won’t be as sharp as England’s other options in midfield 

Joe Cole believes that Jordan Henderson has put his England career ‘in jeopardy’ by moving to Saudi Arabia.

Henderson featured for England in the draw against Ukraine on Saturday, with the midfielder making his first international appearance since joining Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool.

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Although the 33-year-old remains part of the national team setup for now, Cole feels that Henderson could end up losing his place in the squad.

Cole suggested that playing in a division that isn’t as intense as the Premier League may result in Henderson being less sharp. 

Former Chelsea star Cole says that Gareth Southgate has been put ‘in a difficult position’ with regards to Henderson. 

Joe Cole believes that Jordan Henderson has put his England career in jeopardy

Joe Cole believes that Jordan Henderson has put his England career in jeopardy

Cole feels that Henderson won't be as sharp given that he is playing in Saudi Arabia

Cole feels that Henderson won’t be as sharp given that he is playing in Saudi Arabia

‘From a footballing perspective, I can understand why it puts Gareth in a difficult position,’ Cole told Channel 4.

‘When you’re competing with the players Henderson is competing with – Rice, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Phillips – they are all playing in the Champions League [and Europa League].

‘Is he going to be as sharp as he was? You have to remember the margins that England went out with against France at the last World Cup.

‘You have to be so sharp, every player on the pitch. Henderson will know he’s put his England future in jeopardy.’ 

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Cole added that Henderson, who is earning £700,000-a-week at Al-Ettifaq, ‘slipped up’ when claiming in an interview that he didn’t move to Saudi Arabia for the money.

Henderson showed support for the LGBTQ+ community while at Liverpool but has now moved to Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is deemed a crime and is punishable by the death penalty.

Cole said: ‘Of course I can understand [why LGBTQ+ fans are upset]. I see it from both sides. It’s difficult to talk about.

‘I think where Jordan slipped up is afterwards when he said he wasn’t going there for the money. It’s a huge contract.

Henderson has received a lot of criticism following his move from Liverpool to Al-Ettifaq

Henderson has received a lot of criticism following his move from Liverpool to Al-Ettifaq

‘As an individual, he has the right if he wants to earn that kind of money and bring it back. He could be doing lots of work in the community with that.

‘Look, Jordan is a good lad at heart. He’s represented Liverpool and England very well. It’s difficult to talk about.’

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In an interview this week, Henderson stressed that money wasn’t a motivation behind his move to Saudi Arabia.

Henderson told The Athletic: ‘People will see this club come with loads of money and (say) he’s just gone, when in reality that just wasn’t the case at all.

‘People can believe me or not, but in my life and my career, money has never been a motivation.’

Henderson stated that he didn’t intend to hurt the LGBTQ+ community.

He said: ‘I can understand the frustration, I can understand the anger. I get it. All I can say is that I’m sorry they feel like that. My intention was never, ever to hurt anyone. My intention has always been to help causes and communities where I felt like they had asked for my help.

‘My values don’t change because I’m going to a different country where the laws might be different. I see that as a positive thing. From their (Saudi) side, they knew that before signing it. So they knew my beliefs.’

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