Will Jack Hendry return to the Celtic match-day squad tomorrow?

By David Walton

January 29, 2019

His Celtic career has hardly went swimmingly, but tomorrow night will give us all a strong indicator of where Jack Hendry is ranked at Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers confirmed yesterday that Filip Benkovic has a knock. This would see the Croatian join Dedryck Boyata on the sidelines, with Celtic missing their best two centre-backs.

Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic are surely likely to be the replacements. Ajer has been featuring in Boyata’s absence recently, whilst Simunovic remains first-reserve on the bench for Benkovic.

Jack Hendry has played more European games than domestic games for Celtic (TF-Images/Getty Images)

But what will be interesting to take note of is whether we see an appearance from Hendry tomorrow at Parkhead.

The big defender hasn’t been part of a match-day squad for any of the last seven games. He looks to be fifth choice at best these days, despite playing all six of Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers in the summer.

No move yet on Hendry

Manager Brendan Rodgers is planning to get him out on loan this month. Recently, however, talk has been quiet about any potential move that could be in the pipe-line. He has, however, been linked with the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth.

But whether he makes an appearance on the bench or not could be a real indicator of what’s happening with him.

Should Hendry be absent, that would tell a real story. Four centre-backs not on the bench and he still wouldn’t be anywhere near it. It’s important not to add two and two together and get five, however. This won’t necessarily mean he’s away, but it could just indicate how lowly he’s suddenly thought of at Parkhead.

Hendry could be shipped out on loan this month (MB Media/Getty Images)

Celtic’s centre-back pool is a strong one. It’s stronger than many fans believe. So you could hardly blame Hendry for not getting a look in considering the players in front of him.

The former Dundee defender also showed signs of pressure a couple of weeks ago. He pulled up a fan on social media for a post criticising him. It was a poor show, and Hendry has clearly been struggling with the pressures at Parkhead.

Will Rodgers give him the confidence-booster of putting him back in match-day squads though? We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow night.