John Kennedy has stated his belief on when a decision will be made regarding the future of impressive Celtic loanee Jack Hendry.
Hendry has been killing it in Belgium with KV Oostende this season. The Scotland international left Parkhead in order to get more game-time in a season-long loan. Yet despite leaving Glasgow with a battered reputation, he’s slowly managed to restore it once again with 22 outings [Transfermarkt]. That’s only five less appearances than his total at Celtic.
The Brendan Rodgers signing spoke last week about his frustrations in Glasgow before he departed. He believes that he could’ve made a strong impact this season, especially given Celtic’s defensive woes [BBC]. It came after he was linked to three Premier League clubs last week [Daily Mail].
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And Kennedy has revealed that he doesn’t expect a decision to be made on Hendry until the end of the season. Despite the interest and Hendry’s claims, it doesn’t look like a quick decision will occur.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Kennedy said: “Jack came in for a period – it probably didn’t quite work out, he had periods in the team and periods not and then the decision came to put him out to play. I will be honest with you, I don’t know the details about the deal in terms of beyond the loan but Jack was at the stage where at his age and his stage of his career he had to get out and play.
“We had a number of centre-backs who were ahead of him and he recognised that and that we had to come to an agreement to get him out playing. It is good that he has done well. We have kept in touch, I have spoken to him several times and he is enjoying himself and playing regularly. It was a decision made at the times based on what we had and where we saw it.
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“Again that will be something that will need to be addressed in the summer. I don’t think a decision will be made until then. It will depend on everybody’s situation and how things look and people’s opinions but a conversation will take place probably then. Until then he just has to continue to play, get the games under his belt and people will make that decision. Having spoken to him, I know game time is what he has enjoyed most.”
So it appears that Celtic are looking to ride out the season before a decision on Hendry is made. Presumably, any decision will come from a new manager when he is indeed appointed.
Or at least that’s how it should go. It shouldn’t be down to anyone currently at Parkhead to decide whether Hendry should go or whether he deserves a new contract. Leave that to the incoming regime who can take a look at him in pre-season.
But the Scottish defender also deserves a place in Celtic’s pre-season camp for the new campaign. Any new boss must take a proper look at his progress. After all, it’s been substantial, and he could be returning to Parkhead a much-improved footballer.
Many will look at the Premier League interest and feel Hendry should be allowed to leave. However, a report in the Daily Mirror yesterday claimed that the Hoops would receive £2m if they sold him. Surely, it would be worth seeing what he’s got if we’re only going to rake in that kind of figure.
Remember, Celtic will have a shortage of centre-backs this summer. Hatem Elhamed has already left whilst Shane Duffy will go back to Brighton. Kristoffer Ajer’s stay beyond the summer looks highly doubtful, whilst Chris Jullien will be sidelined for pre-season. That’s four centre-backs down from when we exited the January window.
If Hendry can add anything to our defence next season, it must be looked at. Let’s not pretend we’re getting the same player back that we let go last summer.