Ajax manager drops cheeky comment towards Jordan Henderson about Saudi stint in their first meeting

Ajax head coach John van 't Schip aimed a cheeky comment at new signing Jordan Henderson prior to his unveiling.

The former Liverpool captain signed a two-and-a half-year deal with the Dutch giants last Thursday following a short stint in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ettifaq.

Henderson’s wish for an immediate return to Europe will see the 33-year-old take a huge pay cut from his £8million per annum salary in the Middle East.

However, the Englishman appeared delighted with his new surroundings as he arrived in Amsterdam for a medical. During the procedure, Henderson had the opportunity to meet new boss John Van ‘t Schip and the Dutchman quickly broke the ice with a playful jibe at the England international.

Henderson had broke away from a medical test to greet Van ‘t Schip when the Ajax boss was quick to pour his thoughts out, saying: “You look sharp, you didn’t gain weight, I see.”

The comment could be interpreted as a reference to the standard of football Henderson played since moving to Saudi Arabia in the summer.

Henderson’s fitness levels will be put to the test as Ajax faces an uphill battle to qualify for Europe next season.

The four-time European Cup winners suffered a catastrophic start to the season which saw them drop into the relegation zone in what was their worst ever start to a domestic campaign, with five points from seven matches.

Since parting ways with former boss Maurice Steijn, Ajax have started their ascent up the table and sit fifth in the Eredivisie – 11 points off a Champions League spot and nine-points adrift of the Europa League qualifying berth.

Henderson may have to wait a little while longer for his debut as Ajax are still waiting for his work permit to arrive but the midfielder appeared delighted by the move at his press conference on Friday.

“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world, “Henderson said. “It’s the biggest club in Holland and I felt as though it was a great opportunity for me to come to a huge club and help this club be as successful as possible.”

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