Why Celtic should part ways with Jack Hendry amidst interest
According to the Daily Record, forgotten Celtic star Jack Hendry has attracted loan interest from EFL League One clubs Blackpool and Lincoln City, with the defender not featuring in Neil Lennon’s plans at Parkhead.
The 24-year-old is also on the radar of League One strugglers Bolton Wanderers, who started the season with a massive points deduction due to their grave financial crisis, the Daily Record claims.
Hendry has made just one appearance for the Hoops since Lennon took over the reins as the permanent manager, which came as a substitute cameo in a Betfred Cup victory over Partick Thistle way back in September 2019.
The Glasgow-born centre-back, who was linked with fellow Scottish Premiership sides Motherwell and Kilmarnock this past summer, has found himself way down the pecking order at Parkhead, largely gathering dust and even failing to make the matchday squads more often than not.
Hendry started his footballing education at Celtic and spent seven years in the youth system before eventually turning professional with Partick Thistle following brief stints at Peterborough United and Dundee United.
However, he ventured south of the border after struggling to establish himself in the Scottish top-flight, featuring for Wigan Athletic, Shrewsbury Town and MK Dons before returning to his homeland with Dundee.
The 24-year-old’s impressive displays at Dundee paved the way for a move to Celtic in January 2018, with former manager Brendan Rodgers roping him in as a project player.
With that in mind, though, Hendry’s development at Parkhead hasn’t gone according to the script and the centre-back has been limited to a paltry 27 appearances for the Hoops across all competitions over the course of his two-year stay so far.
Hendry played a bit-part role as long as Rodgers was in charge at the helm of affairs but he has been completely frozen out of the mix ever since Lennon took charge.
The 3-cap Scottish international still has plenty of years left to run on his current contract but his prolonged absence from the first-team has fuelled speculations of a loan exit.
As per the report, Hendry has grown increasingly frustrated with his lack of involvement and is now keen to secure a loan exit to get his career back on track, with the defender’s unsettled situation at Parkhead alerting a number of clubs in the English third-tier.
To put things into perspective, it is an absolute no-brainer that Jack Hendry is surplus to requirements at Celtic and the ideal stance for the Hoops would be to farm him out on loan.
With Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer forming a formidable pairing at the heart of the defence and Nir Bitton occasionally stepping in to play as a stop-gap, it doesn’t look likely that Hendry’s situation at Celtic would change dramatically in the coming months.
Despite the likes of Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jozo Simunovic serving extended spells on the treatment table, Hendry hasn’t been anywhere near to breaking into Lennon’s plans, and it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out from the manager’s team selection that he is not at all keen to rely on him.
To that end, it hardly makes any sense for Celtic to pay him the wages for doing next to nothing and a temporary move elsewhere could be ideal for all parties involved.
Hendry is no longer a promising prospect at 24 and it is high time for him to make a name for himself at the highest level, even if it means he has to spend time away from his boyhood club.
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All in all, Celtic parting ways with Jack Hendry before the end of the month could be a fair settlement for both the club as well as the player.