Celtic youngster Ewan Henderson adds "different dimension", says loan boss Crawford

By Euan Davidson

April 10, 2021

Celtic midfielder Ewan Henderson didn’t need to wait long for first-team minutes after moving to Dunfermline on loan.

Having broken into the first-team squad under Brendan Rodgers and, to a lesser extent, Neil Lennon, Henderson’s lack of Celtic action was frustrating this season. John Kennedy clearly saw a player who needed minutes, and now the 21-year-old is part of a decent DAFC team.

The Pars are still pushing for promotion, although they’re on a bad run of results. A damaging 5-1 loss to Raith Rovers was followed by a goalless draw with Hearts.

Henderson hasn’t really had many significant opportunities at Celtic this season. He deputised as a right wing-back against Lille in the Europa League back in December [BBC]. Otherwise, the man who seemed destined for the first-team has stagnated to a degree.

Crawford, though, is determined to use Henderson’s abilities to the fullest. He told the press yesterday [Not the Old Firm]:

“To be fair Ewan hadn’t even had a training session with us when we introduced him into the Dundee game. All year we had done our homework on him, technically he is very comfortable on the ball, he sees a forward pass.

“It was a hard night for him in the Rovers game and then he came on and had a part to play in the draw against Hearts. He will be a big player for us in the coming games. When we brought him in we knew it was only for a few games but we are thankful that Celtic have made it possible for us to get him into the building.

“He will play a part as will all the players at the club. He brings a different dimension. Ewan has good body movement, he sends players the wrong way. He has got that slight pass in him, he is creative and I am sure that he will be an exciting player for us over the next five games.”

Battler: Ewan Henderson / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Ewan Henderson needs more game-time, what will Celtic do next season?

The Edinburgh-born 21-year-old is an obvious talent. Like his older brother Liam, though, there’s a prevailing feeling that he won’t make it at Celtic.

That’d be a real shame. As a creative, versatile midfielder, there’s surely space for him under a new manager. Fine, he hasn’t exploded out of the blocks like a Kieran Tierney or Aiden McGeady, but he still has clear potential and would walk into most SPFL sides.

Having seen his brother star in Italy, he might well be tempted to follow suit. We don’t often see Scottish players move to mainland Europe, but the older Henderson and Aaron Hickey have proved it’s a worthwhile route. Further back, women’s footballer Rose Reilly won a World Cup with Italy, having gained citizenship there. So, the Scotland to Italy pipeline is an interesting one.

For the meantime, though, it’s important that Henderson knuckles down and turns talent into results.

At Dunfermline, he’s surely got the arena to do that.

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