Saudi Pro League chief makes Roberto Firmino demand as nightmare continues for ex-Liverpool star

Roberto Firmino of Al Ahli celebrates after winning the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Ahli SFC and Abha Club at King Abdullah Sports City on May 18, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images))

Roberto Firmino could join Jordan Henderson as an ex-Liverpool star to seal a swift departure from Saudi Arabia.

The Brazil international saw his eight-year spell on Merseyside come to an end last summer when he signed for Al-Ahli at the end of his Liverpool contract. Though the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez have thrived in the Middle East, Firmino has significantly struggled.

In 34 appearances for his side, Firmino has managed nine goals and seven assists, though the plan remains for him to depart. “Al Ahli, no change in the position of Matthias Jaissle – confirmed for the next season as their head coach – towards Roberto Firmino,” Brazilian journalist Rudy Galetti claimed on X (formerly Twitter).

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“The German manager asked to part ways with the Brazilian and look for a new ST: The Saudi club is working in this direction.” In the January transfer window, Firmino was loosely linked to a Chelsea transfer following their difficulties in attack, and while a move never materialised, an imminent exit is expected.

A disastrous spell in the Saudi Pro League for Firmino could reach a premature end just six months this summer, and it would come just months after Jordan Henderson swapped Al-Ettifaq for Ajax. The 32-year-old had some offers from Europe last summer but opted for the move to Saudi Arabia, and with the benefit of hindsight, that looks to have been the wrong decision.

However, as Henderson has proven, there can be a clear route out and back to playing for a top European team, with Firmino still having plenty of his career left to shine.