KV Oostende manager stunned with Celtic valuation of Jack Hendry

By David Walton

June 9, 2021

KV Oostende manager Alexander Blessin has admitted that he couldn’t believe the low valuation Celtic had for Jack Hendry.

Hendry left Parkhead having failed to impress the club or the supporters. He was the lowest in the pecking order when he departed for Oostende on loan, with Celtic throwing in a £1.5m option-to-buy clause. This is something Oostende have reportedly decided to take up [Daily Record]. His departure hasn’t yet been confirmed by either club.

Over the course of the last 12 months, the former Dundee defender has reinvented himself. His performances in Belgium have thrown him into Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for Euro 2020. This has led to reported Premier League interest in his services [90Min]. Should Oostende sign him, they’ll be able to flip him this summer should they wish.

And as he labelled Hendry the “complete defender”, Oostende boss Blessin has no idea why Celtic valued him so lowly.

Speaking to the Times, Blessin said: “No. I don’t know what they are searching for [if they are prepared to let him leave]. This is not my job to commentate on the role of Celtic; I can only say what I see daily and how I get a feeling for his performances.

“This is normally only positive and when I see his size, his speed and his change of direction, when we’re talking about the footballer of the future or the footballer of today, speed is very important.

“When I saw the videos before we signed him, I said he had really great skills and, for his size, he is quick, really fast and has good ball possession. He has good passing ability, he has a good insight, and his movement, changing direction, is very fast. He’s good in the header. He’s the absolutely complete defender: this was my opinion.”

KV Oostende switch may frustrate Celtic as Hendry looks set to leave

As mentioned, it hasn’t been confirmed as of yet that Hendry is off. However, reports indicate that a deal has indeed be done. It’s looking likely he’s no longer a Celtic player, and it could be announced after his time with Scotland this summer is over.

For Celtic, you’re left cursing this in hindsight. Nobody could’ve foreseen the positive press Hendry would’ve had this season. His reputation has been given the kind of boost that looked inconceivable last season.

Remember, Hendry had provided a string of poor errors when given his chance under former boss Brendan Rodgers. So much so that Neil Lennon didn’t even start him in any competitive fixture during his time at the club. Hendry’s exit was best for everyone.

Celtic defender Jack Hendry in action for Oostende vs Anderlecht / (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s easy to look back and say we’ve made a blunder. However, it wasn’t long ago many wanted Hendry out the door permanently. Celtic may have had to insert the clause in order to get Oostende to accept to begin with. The truth is we don’t know what it took to get him off the wage-bill.

That’s the risk you take with these option-to-buy clauses. There was still no guarantee that Hendry was at the level needed to operate at Celtic this season. Not when you consider the ambitions we have to retake the title.

Here’s hoping Hendry manages to get his career back on track wherever he ends up next season. But if he’s left Celtic Park, there’s no point looking back in frustration.

In other news, the atmosphere surrounding Celtic is about to change massively.