Liam Henderson’s move from Hellas Verona to Empoli may be a drop-down from Serie A to Serie B, but for the player himself it’s a fresh start.
Henderson completed his move to Empoli earlier this month. It came after only making five appearances for Verona during the first half of the season. Indeed, Henderson had only been given three starts this term, and it was clearly time for pastures new (Transfermarkt).
The former Celtic academy graduate made his debut for his new club on Friday in a 1-1 draw with Chievo Verona. He was given the full 90 minutes too as he looks to make his mark in Italy’s second-tier.
Henderson posted on his social media yesterday to mark his debut with the phrase “New Challenge”. And some Celtic fans have been quick to react. Here’s a look at what some have been saying about his move:
Very best of luck !🍀🍀🍀🥰
— John McLean (@johnsmclean) January 26, 2020
All the best son. Always thought you were worthy of a good run at Celtic Park. …. Amazes me though, how fans choose to vilify young Tierney on choices players make. Good luck Hendo! Pler!
— Grant (@mrghfardo) 26 January 2020
That tops a challenge, Liam. 😁 Good luck at Empoli.
— Eddie (@eddiedoch) 26 January 2020
Good luck. Can’t wait to see you in the Scotland team. You are a star of the future.
— michael kelly (@mikkelly11) 27 January 2020
All the best for the rest of the season Hendo! Great move 👊🏻🔥 Delighted for you.
— Ian Coll (@IanCollATP) 27 January 2020
You’re having an amazing career! Best of luck at your new club 👍 us Celtic fans will be behind you all the way 🍀
— Liam Doherty (@Docco) 26 January 2020
Boys done brilliant fair play defo a player and will do well
— Mick Quigley (@quigley_mick) 26 January 2020
All the best Liam always liked you’re style of play .
— Daniel Tobin (@dant66) 26 January 2020
Henderson at a big stage in his career
There’s no denying that Henderson’s first taste of Serie A ultimately proved to be disappointing. For one reason or another Verona just didn’t give him a chance to stay in the side. It would’ve been interesting to see what he could’ve done had he been given a run.
Regardless, he now finds himself at Empoli and at a key stage of his career. At 23, he’ll be looking to really kick on and try to make himself a Serie A regular in the coming years.
Unfortunately, Henderson isn’t at one of the favourites to achieve promotion this season. Empoli sit 16th in Serie B, and don’t look like mounting a push in the second half of the season with only five wins in 21 games. However, with only 11 points separating them and second place, it’s still a tight division.
From the moment Henderson left Celtic for Italy on a permanent basis, many of us would’ve had our eyes on whether he would be able to return in the future. So far, he’s had spells with Bari, Hellas Verona, and now Empoli respectively. So he’s racking up quite the experience.
But he’s only managed four appearances in Italy’s top league throughout his two-year spell there so far. A positive second half of the season with Empoli should hopefully provide a catalyst for him to head back to Verona and win his place back.
For now, however, his move to Serie B marks a new challenge in a league he’s both familiar with and has success in. Here’s hoping it all works out for our former academy star.