A Jack Hendry move failed to go through on deadline-day, but was it the correct decision?
Everyone can see the logic in keeping him.. Dedryck Boyata continues to sit out, whilst Filip Benkovic will miss the next six weeks at least. In terms of a defensive injury-crisis, Celtic have most certainly got that.
It’s left both Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic as the main centre-back pairing. They started the 2-0 win over St Johnstone, and looked solid enough in their mini-debut as a returning duo.
One glance to the bench also showed the shortages Celtic have. Only Nir Bitton could play centre-back from the seven Rodgers picked as his substitutes. Interestingly, however, none of them were Hendry.
That was an odd decision considering Rodgers said Benkovic’s injury could change the plan to loan Hendry out.
But it’s also clear Hendry is going through a bit of a confidence crisis too. The defender flagged up a supporter on social media who claimed he wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t particularly a dreadful post, and the Hoops stopper should be able to rise above situations like that.
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Loan move could’ve helped Hendry’s confidence
He clearly needs to get his confidence back, and sending him on loan would’ve helped with that. He was reportedly targeted by the likes of Sunderland during the window too. Going down to England and helping Lewis Morgan and Jack Ross in their promotion bid would’ve been ideal.
A successful second-half to the season there, and he would’ve came back a more confident player.
But, perhaps more pertinently, Celtic don’t NEED Hendry.
Ajer and Simunovic are coping well early doors. Bitton is also a decent reserve to throw in if one gets a knock, whilst Boyata surely won’t be too far away.
When the big Belgian returns, he’ll likely partner Ajer with both Simunovic and Bitton as reserves. Four centre-backs for two positions is fine until the end of the season.
It simply wasn’t enough to sacrifice Hendry’s chance at getting some confidence back to his game, if that’s why he stayed put.
But, it’s now in the rear-view mirror and the decision has been made. Hendry will be here until the end of the season, but how often he plays is extremely questionable.