Jordan Henderson sends message to Gareth Southgate after England axe with Ajax move

Henderson is wasting no time getting ready for next season, in the hopes of winning his England place back
-Credit: (Image: @Jordanhenderson/Instagram)

After being left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2024, former Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has responded by returning to training early.

Henderson, 34, has already returned to Ajax's training ground to begin preparations for next season after a tough 2023-24 saw him force his way out of Saudi Arabia after six months and sign for the Dutch team. After leaving Liverpool 12 months ago Henderson's career quickly changed, as his move to Al-Ettifaq FC didn't go to plan and he suffered an injury when looking to bounce back with Ajax.

The English midfielder, who has 81 appearances for the national team, is typically an easy choice for Southgate due to his experience both on and off the field. But Southgate couldn't find room for Henderson and was faced with overwhelming pressure from fans to leave him out of the squad.

Ironically the England head coach has since complained about a lack of holding midfield options, after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Denmark in the team's second group game of Euro 2024. Henderson showed class when accepting Southgate's decision before the tournament but has sent a message to the England head coach with his attitude.

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Soccer players who play their trade in Europe aren't usually expected to report back in training until July, due to the season scheduling. Domestic soccer usually finishes at the end of May before the new season starts in August, but Henderson has cut short his summer break.

Elite-level players selected to represent their nations this summer will be given an extended break, but after missing out on Euro 2024, Henderson is already back grinding as he looks to put last season behind him. After receiving the bad news from Southgate ahead of the tournament, Henderson said: "Congrats to all the lads who made the squad! Good luck and bring it home boys!"

Southgate often faces criticism when it comes to squad selection, with some fans speculating that he disregards form to pick his trusted assets. But this summer Southgate made some major decisions, with Henderson being a notable absentee from his 26-man roster.

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford was also a key omission, as was Arsenal defender Ben White, although it's since been confirmed that the latter has no plans to play international soccer anytime soon. "These are of course difficult calls. You are talking about players that are very important," Southgate said at the time.

"With Marcus, in that area of the pitch, I feel that other players have had better seasons, it’s as simple as that. Hendo has given himself every chance. From the last camp, he missed five weeks through injury and he hasn’t been able to get to that tempo since then.

"It’s a big call to make, the three players from last time, he, Ben (White), and Marcus (Rashford) all had excellent professionalism. Jordan will be a miss. He's an exceptional individual and a fantastic human being. He's been in that leadership role for a long time."