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Gareth Southgate Watches as Jordan Henderson Makes Special Ajax Debut

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Gareth Southgate Watches As Jordan Henderson Makes Special Ajax Debut

England boss Gareth Southgate watched from the stands as Jordan Henderson made his “special” debut for Ajax in a 1-1 draw against PSV in the Eredivisie. Former Liverpool captain Henderson played the full 90 minutes at the Johan Cruyff Arena as Steven Berghuis’ opener for Ajax was cancelled out by Luuk de Jong.

Henderson joined Ajax in January after spending six months at Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq, and his first appearance was delayed while he waited for a work permit. The England midfielder expressed his hope that Southgate enjoyed the game and praised the incredible atmosphere of the stadium.

Luuk de Jong equalised for PSV before halftime after Berghuis had given Ajax the lead in the 19th minute. Ajax trail league leaders PSV by 21 points in the Eredivisie table. Henderson, who made his first appearance for Ajax, emphasized that there is still room for improvement but considered it a privilege to play for the club. Despite their efforts, Ajax couldn’t find the back of the net to secure a win.

Gareth Southgate’s presence at the match highlights the significance of Henderson’s career move to Ajax. The 33-year-old midfielder had previously represented England 81 times and played in multiple European Championships and World Cups. Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia earlier in the season did not affect his place in the England squad, as agreed upon in discussions with Southgate.

Ajax, currently fifth in the league, has seen an improvement in their performance under interim coach John van ‘t Schip. They have gone unbeaten in 12 matches since October and are now eight points behind second-placed Feyenoord. The team had a poor start to the campaign and replaced their previous head coach Maurice Steijn after 11 games.

The match also caught the attention of former Swansea City coach Steve Cooper, who was in attendance at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Rachel Adams

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