'Zero quality' - Jordan Henderson slammed by former Ajax ace

Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has suffered an incredible fall from grace since leaving Anfield in last summer’s transfer window. 

A hugely lucrative yet controversial move took him to Saudi Arabia in order to link up with former Reds team-mate Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq. 

Henderson was criticised heavily for what was deemed to be hypocrisy, having been an LGBT+ advocate throughout his Liverpool days before moving to a country where same-sex relationships are illegal and the rights of LGBT+ people are not protected. 

His sojourn in the Middle East didn’t last long however and the unsettled midfielder struck out for a return to Europe at the earliest convenience, during January’s transfer window. 

Ajax would be the 33-year-old’s destination, a storied European club who were nonetheless in the midst of a crisis season. 

The Amsterdam side had already run through one permanent manager before Henderson arrived to play under John van 't Schip last month with Ajax rudderless outside the European qualification places. 

However, Henderson’s signing has done little to improve the Dutch giants’ prospects this term. 

He is yet to play in an Ajax victory - and is in fact winless at club level since October stretching back to his Saudi days. 

Ajax transfer strategy slammed by Van der Vaart

The club’s transfer strategy has come in for sharp criticism from pundits and ex-players alike. Having lost key parts like Edson Alvarez, Mohammed Kudus and Jurrien Timber in summer, their replacements have been nowhere near up to scratch.

That charge has already been levelled against Henderson, whose arrival has done little to boost his new side. 

Rafael van der Vaart spent 12 years with Ajax as a youth and first-team player, playing over 150 times in red and white, and even captained the Netherlands in the World Cup final in 2010. 

The 41-year-old former playmaker keeps a close eye on his former club and took aim at Henderson in a recent outing as Dutch television pundit, describing him as a “zero quality” player who “nobody will be happy with”. 

"Ajax have brought in players with zero quality,” he said. “The club will now have to see out the rest of the season. 

"They have brought in Jordan Henderson. All he does is to play a little pass out wide, or a little pass back, but nobody will be happy with that.”

Ajax tumbled out of the UEFA Europa League before the Christmas break and have fallen into the UEFA Europa Conference League, where they are up against Bodo/Glimt of Norway. 

They only just managed a 2-2 draw in the first leg, with two injury-time goals, and face a tricky trip to Bodo on Thursday. 

"You'll see on Thursday that they will get through their Europa Conference League tie against Bodo/Glimt with all the luck in the world,” Van der Vaart said. 

"Afterwards it's best for them to get knocked out, and to make a fresh start next season. 

"As an Ajax man my heart bleeds. I don't know what I can say about them any more."

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