Report: Celtic defender Jack Hendry to sign for Oostende; Belgian club will flip him for profit

By Euan Davidson

June 1, 2021

According to a report in 90min, Celtic are to lose out on a potential jackpot for Jack Hendry.

The Scotland defender has enjoyed a sensational season in Belgium, and according to “sources” close to 90min, the original loan-to-buy arrangement will be honoured by KV Oostende.

The report claims Oostende “jumped” at the chance to secure Hendry. However, they will be looking to sell him on at the earliest opportunity. In a season that’s surprised Celtic supporters, the former Dundee defender was named Belgium’s Player of the Year. Sport Voetbal, a respected European outlet, handed Hendry the gong.

Now, a former Bhoys misfit is set to generate the Belgian club a significant fee. It’s a bit of a disaster from the board’s perspective. Nobody could’ve foreseen the ex-Wigan defender having such an impactful season in mainland Europe, let alone the people who closely watched his performances at Celtic.

Fool’s gold, or are Celtic missing out big time?

We could’ve used the money, granted. In fact, there’s an argument to suggest we could’ve used Hendry himself. While he’s been impressing away from the club, Celtic have fallen to pieces defending their own box. To use a well-worn cliché, they’ve looked like a jigsaw at the back.

Is it the case that Hendry can suddenly step up to a bigger level? Oostende could feasibly sell the Scotland international to a Premier League club, or a more established European outfit. Given that he suffered a season-ending injury on his first loan spell away from us, it’s an unlikely set of circumstances. While you could glibly imply that “nothing about this season was normal”, that’s certainly the case for Hendry and Oostende.

Bear in mind that Oostende weren’t fancied to achieve much of anything this season. They may well be backed by ambitious investors. But a relegation dog-fight seemed on the cards for the side this season. Instead, they finished 5th in the Jupiler Pro, with one of the best defences in Belgium [BBC].

Jack Hendry, shielding the ball for KV Oostende / (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

It may be more about the standard in the country being overhyped, or it could be one of those one-season wonders, but there’s real optimism about Jack Hendry. Scotland may not be over-stocked at centre-back, but the 26-year-old’s inclusion at Euro 2020 still speaks volumes.

At the very least, Celtic would’ve wanted more than £2m from this. They’re not going to get it, though, per 90min’s reporting. That’ll be a blow, but again, it’s not one that any of us could’ve realistically envisioned.

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