Ewan Henderson’s Celtic return looks like arriving in Sunday’s Premiership clash against Hearts at Parkhead.
It’s what’s becoming an annual trophy day for Celtic at Parkhead this Sunday, Scottish Cup rivals Hearts are set to turn up and look to spoil the party. The game won’t have any significance on next weekend’s final, and Neil Lennon’s team-selection could prove that too.
One of the surprising decisions Lennon could make is by starting young midfielder Henderson. Lennon stated at his press conference yesterday that Henderson had been training with the first team. Considering he’s also in there alongside Karamoko Dembele, it’s safe to assume he’ll be part of the squad.
Henderson has made only five Celtic appearances this term. What makes that surprising was just how impressive he was in January/February time. Henderson managed two assists, and played a key part in the first goal of the Lennon era at Tynecastle.
With the reserve league over after its inaugural season, it makes sense to include Henderson.
A massive opportunity
As it stands, the best bet for Hendo would be a loan move this summer. It would help him make a step up from reserve football whilst continuing to develop at senior level.
Just looking at the likes of Ryan Christie, Kristoffer Ajer, and Callum McGregor proves just how beneficial a loan move can be. If Henderson follows in the trio’s footsteps, he could be on his way to becoming a first-team regular at Parkhead.
But playing on Sunday gives him the opportunity to make a massive statement. Henderson has a huge chance to prove that he can be so much more than a loan star next season.
Time to impress
Whilst at the same time having the chance to impress potential loan suitors, Henderson can really put in a performance that turns the head of Celtic fans and management too. It’s important to stress that Celtic haven’t confirmed that Henderson will leave on loan next season. This is purely opinionated.
The focus seems to be fixated on Dembele’s potential debut this weekend, however. That’s all very well and good, but Henderson has a huge chance to impress himself.
He was put down to the reserve league in a bid to help wrestle the title Celtic’s way. Despite putting in some fine, energetic displays, however, Henderson and Celtic just missed out to Rangers on the final day.
He’ll be itching to make his mark after that disappointment. He’s already proved that he has an eye for the pass, can dribble with ease, and has good strength that won’t see him bullied against Hearts if selected.
And it’s a forgotten subplot that Henderson has much to prove at Parkhead. Can he intice loan offers? Can he impress Celtic? A good performance will certainly set him up nicely for next season one way or another.