Thomas Hitzlsperger posts scathing response to Jordan Henderson's Saudi Arabia move

Former Premier League star Thomas Hitzlsperger has questioned how genuine Jordan Henderson's support for the LGBT+ community ever was, following his move to the Saudi Arabian Pro League.

Henderson's £12m transfer to Al-Ettifaq was confirmed on Thursday afternoon, with official announcements from both clubs.

The 33-year-old, who has already been seen training with his new teammates, will wear the number 10 shirt for the Saudi club, having signed a three-year contract that is expected to earn him £350k a week.

While heartfelt messages from Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool stars to the long-serving captain were shared online, Henderson's move has also drawn criticism.

The England international had been a prominent advocate for LGBT+ issues, often sporting the Rainbow Laces armband, while he was even nominated for a 'Football Ally' award at the British LGBT awards.

Back in 2020, Henderson tweeted: "If wearing the #RainbowLaces armband helps even just one person then it’s progress. Everyone is welcome at Liverpool Football Club."

However, many now feel let down by the player, as he accepts a big-money deal to play in country where homosexuality is illegal and, in some cases, punishable by death.

READ MORE: Al-Ettifaq announce Jordan Henderson with video featuring greyed-out rainbow armbands

Following the confirmation of Henderson's exit, Liverpool's LGBT+ fan group Kop Outs! posted a thread on Twitter expressing 'disappointment' with Henderson.

Meanwhile, ex-Aston Villa and Everton star Hitzlsperger — who came out as gay in 2013 — also tweeted, suggesting that he has lost faith in Henderson's supposed support for the LGBT+ community.

He wrote: "So Jordan Henderson finally gets his move to Saudi Arabia. Fair play to him, he can play wherever he wants to play. Curious to know though how the new brand JH will look like. The old one is dead! I did believe for a while that his support for the LGBT+ community would be genuine. Silly me…"

Responding to a comment on his original tweet, the 52-cap Germany international added: "He’s [sic] gay mates are not safe if they want to watch him live. No one forced him to support the LGBT+ community. He chose to. Why??? Doesn’t make sense to me anymore".

Hitzlsperger, who also played for Lazio and Stuttgart, became the most high-profile former men's professional footballer to come out as gay when he did so after his retirement in 2013. He has since revealed he was advised against revealing his true sexuality during his playing career.

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