Ajax expert Valentijn Driessen has confirmed that the midfielder, whose arrival was announced on Thursday, will earn €4.5 million annually.
Henderson, who has signed a contract at the Johan Cruijff ArenA until mid-2026, reportedly earned approximately €700,000 euros per week at the Saudi Arabian club, but according to Driessen, he will continue to receive a healthy salary in the Netherlands.
“Henderson receives €4.5 million euros in salary per year at Ajax and €1.5 million in signing fees,” the football chief of De Telegraaf revealed on Thursday with Today Inside . “He has been there for 2.5 years, so that is easy to calculate.”
Driessen explains that the tax climate in the Netherlands is more favourable for Henderson than in the Premier League.
“If you go to England you have to pay a lot more tax. In the Netherlands it is much easier to do that. Here he can also join the players’ fund and he only has to pay 30%. We don’t have to feel sorry for him, because he earns €15m,” he explained.
Henderson branded a panic buy
Driessen describes Henderson in his column in the daily newspaper on Friday as ‘a case of panic buying for which the fallen Ajax has to write off around €25 million euros over two and a half years’.
“A panic purchase can also be successful, but Henderson is past his peak after three years at Sunderland, 12 years at Liverpool and half a year at Al-Ettifaq,” warns the journalist, who is particularly curious whether the veteran will live up to the high expectations.
“He won’t lose any sleep over it, but he is now 33 years old and will be 34 in June. When his contract with Ajax expires, he will be 36 years old. For comparison, when Dusan Tadic and Daley Blind came to Ajax as experienced players in the summer of 2018 to help young top talents with their development, they were 29 and 28 years old respectively.
The qualities of the player Henderson on the ball do not make the difference. Not even in the Eredivisie
– Valentijn Driessen
“At the age of 33, 15 years in England makes itself felt physically. From one day to the next it can be over, or a serious injury can mean the end of his career. The qualities of the player Henderson on the ball do not make the difference. Not even in the Eredivisie,” emphasises Driessen, who points out that the Englishman is ‘a breaker’, “someone who supports very good players and makes them better”.
“At Ajax he has to improve a collection of mediocre players, but that is something completely different from his task at Liverpool where he cleared up the crumbs.
“Henderson, who succeeds two failed English signings (Calvin Bassey and Chuba Akpom), is an extremely expensive gamble for Ajax. No matter how well regarded he is and is seen as a saviour in Amsterdam, Liverpool’s Henderson would never have chosen the Eredivisie.”
Colleague Mike Verweij wrote on Friday that Henderson will earn significantly less in the final year of his contract.
While Ajax initially offered him a contract for one and a half seasons and an optional year, Henderson had set his sights on a permanent contract for two and a half years.
“But to make that financially possible for Ajax, he turned out to be willing to give up a significant salary in his last year of contract.”