Jack Hendry has been discussing his Celtic future as he admits to being frustrated regarding a lack of opportunities under Neil Lennon.
Hendry was sent out on loan to Belgian side Oostende in the summer in a bid to reinvigorate his career. In fairness to the big centre-back, that’s exactly what he’s done. He’s managed 22 appearances for his loan club – only five less than he’s managed in three years at Celtic after being signed under Brendan Rodgers [Transfermarkt].
And his departure came after being given zero opportunities to impress by Neil Lennon. Indeed, the former Celtic manager only gave Hendry 11 minutes to impress throughout his time as manager. That came in a solitary Betfred Cup clash against Partick Thistle.
“I’m open to anything that comes my way. It’s vital that wherever I choose next season, I need to play every week to continue my development. If Celtic want to keep me, that’s something they would need to make a decision on.
“It’s frustrating that I was never given the opportunity to show what I could do [under Lennon]. The way I’m performing, I could have a real good impact and it’s not been nice seeing the way the season has panned out for them.
“I needed to hit the reset button. Oostende really wanted me. They finished low down the league last season but I felt I could have a good impact. Thankfully it is paying off.”
Jack Hendry deserves chance to show he can still have a Celtic future
It’s easy to forget, but Hendry is still only 25. He has so many years of development left in him, and even though now is the time for him to be showing what he’s made of, nobody can say he doesn’t have longevity in him.
Any new Celtic manager should give Hendry a look. It’s only right that the Hoops analyse just how much he’s improved in Belgium this season. For all we know, he’s better than what we’ve got.
It’s important to remember what loan moves are used for. It’s to help either youngster or fringe players get game-time over the course of a season to either improve or increase their value.
Whether Celtic sent Hendry out for the former or the latter is anyone’s guess. But he’s clearly a player playing confidently and rated highly in a decent-quality league. Certainly not a division that has lesser quality than the Scottish Premiership.
Celtic are going to have a centre-back shortage next season. Shane Duffy will head back to Brighton whilst Kris Ajer looks all but set to depart. It’s also worth noting that Christopher Jullien is going to be out injured for the start of the new campaign also.
Hendry’s loan spell has been perfect. It can’t have gone better, and now it’s time to see just how much he’s improved. Let’s not be too snobby here – Jack deserves to be looked at just as much as anyone in pre-season.