Jack Hendry discusses Celtic-linked Thomas Henry attributes

By David Walton

August 11, 2021

Oostende centre-back Jack Hendry has given Celtic supporters a rundown of reported target Thomas Henry and the attributes he could bring to Parkhead.

Hendry, a former Celtic defender himself, featured against the Frenchman twice last season. Henry didn’t manage to score in either game, but his record for OH Leuven remains impressive. 21 goals in 33 games last season, including a run of 13 goals in 12 matches shows he’s prolific [Transfermarkt].

So much so that the Scottish Sun believe Celtic view him as a replacement for Odsonne Edouard. Even though Eddy has yet to depart, the Hoops are rightly eyeing up the £7m-rated star.

And even though Hendry talked up his own performances against the striker, he tipped his domestic rival to impress at Parkhead should he bag a move.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Hendry said: “Henry’s a goal-scorer, for sure. He’s not someone who is amazingly quick. I don’t see him as a striker who will run in behind or go down the channels. He will work hard but he hasn’t got lightning pace.

“He’s got good stature, a good physique. I see him as more like an English penalty box striker. For £7m the Celtic fans will be expecting a very good player coming through the doors — and I’d certainly wish him the best. He’d be expected to score goals and perform at a very high level.

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“I’ve had the better of him in games against Leuven. He didn’t cause me much trouble. But I’d like to see him do well for Celtic and prove his value. He picks up good areas in the box and plays intelligently with his movement. As a defender you wouldn’t be concerned with a one-v-one. But his hold up play is good and he’s a handful in the box. He can finish. Those are his main attributes.

“If he gets the service, and I’m sure he will with the calibre of players who create chances at Celtic, he can get the goals.”

Jack Hendry gives a Thomas Henry run down; sounds promising enough for Celtic

We’ll ignore the fact that Hendry has pretty arrogantly looked to talk up his own performances against him. We won’t go into the extensive list of players that have caused Hendry problems either.

However, from his description, it’s clear that Henry is different to what Celtic have. When you look at Odsonne Edouard, Kyogo Furuhashi, Albian Ajeti, and Leigh Griffiths – not one man’s game is suited to hold-up play.

This could be an essential tool for Celtic to use in Europe in particular. So many of our moves seem to break down in the final third due to having nothing to hit. Either that or our striker is far too isolated and quickly crowded it.

Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images

A powerful, physical frontman that can hold off centre-backs and add a different dynamic to our forward play would be most welcome. Not least because it gives Ange Postecoglou the chance to mix things up when necessary.

His goal return is also interesting for a player of Henry’s profile. Target men aren’t knowing for being prolific strikers. Their main job is to keep strong on the ball and bring others into play. The fact Henry has so many goals to his name suggests he’s more than just a hold-up player.

The striker reportedly wants to move to Celtic [Scottish Daily Mail, 11/08, page 72]. Whether we gets the opportunity remains to be seen. But from the outside, this looks like it would be a wise investment.

In other news, Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan makes Tranmere Rovers debut in penalty shootout loss