Craig Levein claims Jack Hendry didn't fulfil potential at Celtic

By Euan Davidson

May 19, 2021

Former Scotland boss Craig Levein was tasked with making a verdict on the National Team, which includes 6 Celtic players.

That’s 6, technically. Of course, the future of Jack Hendry is an unknown. Last we heard, Oostende were hoping to sign the ex-Dundee man in order to sell him on for a profit [GiveMeSport]. How his team-mate Ari Freyr Skulason feels about that is unclear at this stage [Glasgow Live].

Of course, Hendry won’t be worrying about that. From being a misfit at Celtic, Hendry has become a Scotland regular, and a member of the Euro 2020 squad.

Levein claims that Hendry wasn’t able to make use of his talents at Celtic, and has essentially started from scratch on loan in Belgium. The former Hearts boss told BBC Sportsound:

“He’s really had to go abroad to begin his career, if that makes sense. He’s playing week-in, week-out now. He had potential, didn’t quite realise it [at Celtic], but now he’s had an opportunity to play weekly. It seems to have improved him.

“I haven’t seen a lot of him out there. I think Steve’s been very loyal to his guys in defence. Gallagher has been a revelation in some regards, the way he’s played. Tierney’s played centre-back and been fantastic. Cooper’s hasn’t let anybody down. I’m a fan of McKenna’s, he’s young still but has a lot of potential.

“I think we’ve quite a strong line-up.”

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

Can Jack Hendry return to Celtic, or even make us a profit at Euros?

It’d be great to know for sure what leverage Celtic have here. Can the club bring him back? Would they, if they could? There’s so much uncertainty.

But – and this is a landmark moment – I agree with Craig Levein here. He really did have to start again in Belgium, after long-term injury suffered in his first loan away from Celtic. When he was sent to Australia in 2019, a future at Celtic looked impossible. Let alone when he was sent away a second time.

It would be revisionist to suggest that he’s ready for Celtic, though. International defenders have struggled in the Hoops before now, and will again. But at the very least, what he’s doing for Oostende and Scotland is incredible, given how far he was from the public consciousness just 12 months ago.

Fair play to the young man. His next few months will be absolutely fascinating.

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