Celtic have a summer option to cover for the injured Christopher Jullien, but not everyone will like it

By Euan Davidson

February 19, 2021

In a season full of bad news, Celtic manager Neil Lennon announcing Christopher Jullien being absent for 6-9 months particularly stung.

The Frenchman was excellent last season. It’s fair to assume that Lennon had a team built around Jullien and Ajer, who both improve Celtic a great deal. The Bhoys average more points per match when the two are playing together.

With Ben Davies escaping Lennon’s clutches in dramatic fashion [The Guardian], we’re left with Duffy, Welsh and Bitton. The Three Amigos, as precisely nobody is calling them.

Welsh is a decent young prospect, but there are still issues with his game. At times against Aberdeen, his positioning was lacklustre. That’ll improve with experience, but Celtic need a player in the short-term who has played first-team football for years. So, with a heavy heart, I’m suggesting that Jack Hendry may be the answer.

Look, I know. I’m about as keen on this as you presumably are. There were times watching Hendry play for Celtic when I probably required medical attention. He radiated nervousness, and he was the butt of endless jokes. We had the luxury, I suppose, of being able to joke, because we were still winning matches when Hendry was making mistakes.

Now, though? Not so much.

Jack Hendry in European action / (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Christopher Jullien for Jack Hendry is no upgrade, but it might just work

Here’s a theory; Jack Hendry may work better in a back-three.

As a central defender who liked to move the ball forward, it would maybe help him to play alongside two other central defenders. In this scenario, we’re envisioning Hendry returning at all, something that isn’t guaranteed. KV Oostende have an option to buy him outright, something nobody would’ve batted an eyelid at in the halcyon days before this season began.

Perhaps, Hendry’s confidence has been bolstered by his trendy gap year in mainland Europe. The former Wigan Athletic and Dundee defender could feasibly return to Celtic as a brand new player. So, next to Kristoffer Ajer and Stephen Welsh, there could be something promising.

Alternatively; no. It’s equally as feasible that Hendry will never be good enough to play for Celtic, and we should look elsewhere.

We’re going to need to bolster the defence regardless, and that’s a fact.

But the creaking of a once-locked door can be heard from Celtic Park. It’ll be up to Jack Hendry whether he pushes the handle.

READ MORE: Neil Lennon needs to fix a mess of his own creation.