When Jack Hendry arrived at Celtic in January 2018, expectations were mixed. While many hoped he could solidify himself as a stalwart in defence, his stint with the Hoops was largely disappointing.

Jack Hendry
Soccer Football – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier – Group A – Norway v Scotland – Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway – June 17, 2023 Norway’s Erling Braut Haaland in action with Scotland’s Jack Hendry Fredrik Varfjell/NTB 

Mistakes on the ball and a string of subpar performances in his first season cast a dark cloud over Hendry’s time at Celtic. Although, some might argue that circumstances forced him unfairly into the spotlight. Originally signed as a potential backup and future prospect, Hendry was thrust into the first team. The reasons varied – Boyata’s looming departure, the inexplicable absence of Compper, and Simunovic’s recurring suspensions and injuries.

However, not everyone believes the verdict on Hendry should be so damning. Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson recently weighed in on the defender’s tenure at Celtic.

“I am not going to knock Jack Hendry for going over and lining his pockets,” said Ferguson on Go Radio.

“I do like him. I even liked him at Celtic. I don’t think he got a fair crack of the whip at Celtic. Obviously, he has been over in Belgium. He went on-loan to Italy. He did really well. And since he has come into the Scotland team, he has done really well. On the ball, he is very good. Defensively solid.

“But going over to Saudi, I know there are a few top players over there, but I would like to have seem to have gone to a different league. Listen, he is still involved in the Scotland set-up. I am sure he would have spoken to Stevie Clarke about that. And he has okayed it. I like him and have always liked him.

“I think he could have stayed at Celtic. But you have to give him credit. He looked at it and said ‘I am not going to get many minutes here’. I think he has really good qualities. He is big, strong and quick. And he is very, very good on the ball.”

Hendry’s journey post-Celtic has been noteworthy. After a loan spell at Oostende, the Belgian side made his transfer permanent, only to subsequently sell him to Club Brugge. A brief loan to Cremonese in Serie A was followed by a reunion with former Celtic manager, Ronny Deila, at Club Brugge.

This summer, Hendry made waves with a move to Saudi Arabia, yet he continues to be a mainstay for the Scottish national team.


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