Jordan Henderson and Fabinho seem to be nearing the end of their Anfield careers as Liverpool looks to sign Romeo Lavia.
The final home game of Liverpool’s 2022-23 season will live on, in the memories of Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
On that particular day, the trio naturally had their illustrious Reds careers honored by their teammates after they had enjoyed the standing ovation of a packed Anfield following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
Owners Fenway Sports Group, who are probably watching events at Anfield from across the Atlantic, would have been devastated to see Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Firmino’s illustrious Liverpool careers come to an end as free agents. Despite their efforts, which enabled Liverpool to achieve its objective of winning the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup in a glitzy three-year span from 2019 to 2022, none of those goals were realized.
Club executives will be eager to avoid making the same mistake twice in the upcoming years given their failure to recoup even a single penny of their $112 million investment in the trio.
As owners who, thanks to the successful adoption of Major League Baseball’s Moneyball practice, have enjoyed exceptional success during their 12-and-a-half-year reign on Merseyside.
Al-Ittihad and Al Ettifaq of the Saudi Pro League made sizable offers for both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson six weeks after that afternoon at Anfield, and Liverpool realized they had a chance to make amends on the selling front.
The Brazilian signed a five-year contract at Anfield in the summer of 2018 just hours after the Reds’ defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
He was thought to be an important addition to Liverpool’s midfield.
Following success in Ligue 1 and an exciting run with AS Monaco in the final stages of the Champions League the season before, Fabinho was swiftly acquired in a deal worth £43 million.
Henderson’s Anfield story began seven years before that of his counterpart when manager Sir Kenny Dalglish made the signing during a mixed summer of spending. The England international went from strength to strength after taking over as captain in 2015 in place of Steven Gerrard, who had a rocky start to life under both Dalglish and later his successor Brendan Rodgers. Twelve months before the club won its first Premier League championship in thirty years, he eventually guided the team to its sixth Champions League victory.
Although the verdict is still very much out on Fabinho’s abilities as Liverpool’s first-choice holding midfielder after a poor run of form for much of last season, Henderson’s gradual decline has been much more obvious in the three seasons since he guided Liverpool to Premier League glory.
After carefully weighing the merits of Al Ettifaq’s offer earlier this month, Liverpool ultimately decided that the chance to part ways with a player whose best years were behind him and who had been one of the highest earners at Anfield since signing his extension in 2021 was too lucrative to pass up. Given that he has played more than 450 times for the team since being acquired from Sunderland more than ten years ago for £20 million, it is a wise investment.
The loss of Fabinho could make things more difficult for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool given that he is the only natural holding midfielder for the club. Similar to Henderson, though, there has been a lot of serious discussion this summer at the AXA Training Centre about the possibility of his £40 million departure boosting the Anfield coffers.