Friday, December 2, 2022

Celtic Outcast Hoping For ‘Positive Impact’ After Impressing On Loan: Does He Deserve An Opportunity?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic outcast Jack Hendry has finally opened up on his future following a boisterous loan spell in Belgium with Oostende. The little-known West Flanders-based outfit have stunned the football fanatics with an outrageous upsurge and are currently in contention for a place in Europe alongside the heavyweights like Antwerp, Anderlecht and Genk.

The 25-year-old centre-half joined the Hoops on the winter deadline three years ago but failed to attain a starting status, unlike his Dundee days. Neil Lennon was not a big fan of the Scotsman and a loan move was eventually sanctioned on 22 January 2022. He was supposed to enjoy first-team football at Melbourne City, however, a knee ligament injury suffered in his second A-League outing led to surgery.

Although he reported back for the pre-season, Celtic opted to offload outcast Jack Hendry with Oostende offering a loan (with an option to buy) deal for the entire 2020-21 campaign. The defender, however, grabbed the opportunity expertly and is now confident enough to shine at Parkhead with a year left in his contract.

“I hope things get sorted and they get back in a positive place, where they should be which is the number one team in Scotland. I’m hoping that gets done quickly and everyone then can look forward to next season and look to have a positive impact.”

Revealed the Scotland international (as quoted by the Daily Record) who is now knocking the door for a place in Steve Clarke’s Euro 2020 squad.

Celtic loanee Jack Hendry in action for Oostende
OOSTENDE, BELGIUM – JANUARY 09 : Jack Hendry defender of KV Oostende pictured during the Jupiler Pro League match between KV Oostende and Sporting Charleroi on January 9, 2021 in Oostende, Belgium, 9/01/2021 FOOTBALL : KV Ostende vs Sporting Charleroi – Jupiler Pro League – 09/01/2021 PhotoNews/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY

Why Celtic Must Retain Hendry Following His Sensational Loan Spell

The Bhoys, meanwhile, struggled defensively all throughout the current term. The high-profile inclusion of Shane Duffy (on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion) proved to be a catastrophe whereas persistent injury problems kept key centre-back Christopher Jullien sidelined for the majority of the ongoing term. The rise of Stephen Welsh is a massive boost, but the future of Kristoffer Ajer remains uncertain with the Norwegian unwilling to extend his stay beyond next year. Nir Bitton has been linked to a return to his homeland and therefore, an overhaul in the heart of the backline must be addressed as the topmost priority before challenging Rangers to reclaim the league.

Hendry, meanwhile, has done enough to earn another chance in Celtic colours. He should be treated as a new signing who might eventually save them millions in the upcoming transfer window. A new beginning under a new manager is something the player must now be hoping for.

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