'Old and expensive' Henderson slammed for Ajax transfer

Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk
Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk
  • Updated: 17 Jan 2024 19:31 GMT
  • 4 min read
Jordan Henderson, Transfer Ajax
© ProShots/FootballTransfers

Dutch pundit Marciano Vink does not understand why Jordan Henderson would want to move to Ajax and the Eredivisie.

The club from Amsterdam are about to finalise the arrival of the 33-year-old midfielder from Steven Gerrard's Saudi side Al-Ettifaq. Henderson could be officially presented with an 18-month contract at the Johan Cruyff ArenA this weekend.

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Henderson's decision to head back to Europe is partly motivated by his desire to make the England squad for Euro 2024 in Germany. However, Marciano Vink does not believe that heading to the Dutch top flight and especially Ajax, who struggled until recently, will help him achieve that.

“Not even if it had been PSV or Feyenoord,” Vink emphasised in conversation with ESPN, where he works as an analyst. “I don't think you put yourself in the spotlight for the European Championship squad in the Eredivisie."

"The competition in England's midfield is enormous, with them all being players who play for top European clubs. Thus, it seems unlikely to me that a national coach would think, 'that Henderson is doing well in the Eredivisie, I will bring him in.'"

Vink thinks that Germany or Italy would have been a better destination for Henderson, but that there was simply no interest from these countries. "If larger clubs had been concretely interested, Ajax would probably have had no chance," says the former player.

"Ultimately, there were not many clubs interested. This must have to do with the fact that he is quite old and expensive, has played at a poor level for six months and most clubs have their squads sorted halfway through the season."

Although Henderson seems to be a signing for the six position in Ajax's midfield, Vink would rather see him elsewhere. "At Liverpool, he was not the first point of contact in midfield during the build-up. He played a little higher there than what he will probably do at Ajax."

"Still, I think he can easily fill that other role in the Eredivisie. Henderson is a really great opportunity. He cannot single-handedly make a difference at Ajax, but I do believe that with his dominance, stature and outspoken presence he will help many players play football a little better."

Jordan Henderson
© ProShots - Jordan Henderson

"He can position boys well on the field and motivate them to perhaps squeeze out twenty per cent more than they have shown so far." According to Vink, Henderson instantly rises to the top of the hierarchy as Ajax's most important player.

"And that is desperately needed. This season, the players who should actually take the lead are letting it slide too much. I am referring to guys like Steven Bergwijn and Steven Berghuis. If such players do not give up, then this will spill over to the rest of the team."

"With Henderson, you don't have to have any doubts about that. With his attitude and mentality, he will set a new standard. Now players at the front often trudge back and the distances between them are becoming enormous. Henderson will not accept that, he will immediately make short shrift of that."

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