The former Liverpool captain knew he made a mistake as soon as he put pen to paper. The move was strange from the beginning, obviously motivated by the absurd $444,000 per week salary. But it turns out money can't buy happiness for the 33-year-old.
The England international is set to leave Al-Ettifaq with immediate effect after terminating his contract. He will willingly forgo his wages to return to Europe, specifically Ajax, in order to get back on Gareth Southgate's radar ahead of Euro 2024.
Benzema too, was wooed by Ronaldo's influence and the sweet siren song of money — lots of it! But the French superstar has lost his patience in the Middle East despite his $213 million per year salary and wants a quick return to European football.
The unhappy Al-Ittihad player is on the search for his next club, with Arsenal heavily linked for the Ballon d'Or winner on a loan deal. Chelsea too, are huge admirers and most likely to scupper Arteta's plans yet again.
Henderson's former teammate Roberto Firmino is also desperate to leave Saudi Arabia. But doing so could mean the Premier League's greatest false 9 goes to Chelsea instead of going back to his beloved Liverpool. Certainly, that would sting some Reds fans a bit.
Said Liverpool legend John Aldridge: “I was surprised to see Roberto Firmino has been linked with a move to Chelsea this month. I know it's not happening for him in Saudi Arabia. For what he has done for Liverpool, if that ends up being what he wants, so be it.”
Recent reports indicate that Al-Hilal is looking for ways to terminate Neymar's contract. His wages include $164.5 million for two seasons. But the Brazilian ace has been injured since October, making a mere three appearances.
More realistically, however, Al-Hilal is making squad space for another player given Neymar's prolonged absence until the end of the season in May.
The outing of these hotshot players is a message to Europe's top players thinking about venturing to the Middle East. Will the Saudi Pro League fail in its ambition to become one of the best football leagues in the world?