Celtic youngster Ewan Henderson is currently involved in the climax of the SPFL Reserve League, but it’s his first-team spell he’ll be delighted with this term.
The younger brother of former Celtic star Liam, Henderson has had a fine breakthrough season. Yes, we haven’t seen him on a weekly basis. Yes, he hasn’t played for the first-team since the 0-0 home draw with Aberdeen early last month either.
But, the truth is, it’s been a fine debut campaign in and around the senior side.
Henderson has managed five appearances this season. Impressively, he’s also marked his debut season with a couple of assists and a big part in the first goal under Neil Lennon away to Hearts back in February.
Hendo’s short stint in the side between January and March was supremely impressive. He perhaps wasn’t quite ready to play every single week, but his energy and composure on the ball was a joy to watch.
Henderson proved that he holds some real traits that Celtic can develop. He has a keen eye for a pass, clean ball retention, good strength on the ball, and quick feet for a player of decent height. He’s taken us all by surprise, and his sudden drop back down to the reserves was just as surprising.
Title run-in is good for Henderson
But it’s also good for him too. The reserves are in a three-way fight for the SPFL Reserve League crown this season. The pressure of that climax should do Henderson, and the rest of the youth players, the world of good. It’s exactly that kind of pressure that they need to experience if they’re to make it here.
Looking at the remaining fixtures, Henderson likely won’t play another part. Trips to Pittodrie and Ibrox follow Saturday’s visit of Kilmarnock. You can’t see Lennon randomly fielding Henderson in any of those colossal encounters, especially with the league not yet won.
The only game that potentially screams out is Hearts at Parkhead. But Celtic traditionally play their strongest side on trophy day. It would be a surprise if there were any surprises in the line-up.
Henderson shouldn’t be disappointed with his omission from the senior side recently either. He’s made more than a big enough impact this term, especially given the competition in his midfield position.
It’s been a season of positive growth for the 19-year-old, and something he can really build on next season. A loan move would still be ideal for him, but if he stays it wouldn’t be a disaster.
Personally, I think he’s been the shiniest of all of our young talent this season. And I for one can’t wait to see a bit more from Henderson in the future.