The news, today, that the Belgian club who had an option on Jack Hendry have taken that option up is as depressing as it was inevitable.
Although there’s been no confirmation from either club, or from the player himself, it seems certain the deal is done.
A year ago this might not have seemed like such a big deal.
It probably looked like a good plan when the board set it in motion.
This article was written last night.
This afternoon, Andrew Smith actually put one up arguing in direct opposition to it.
All I’ve changed is that I added “yes” to the headline on this and wrote this paragraph; my argument is in no way being offered as a counter to his, but obviously I profoundly disagree with what he wrote.
Hendry was always a player with potential.
That potential was the reason we sent him out on loan in the first place, instead of cutting him loose.
But it was short-sighted, to say the least, to give his club a chance to buy him for such a paltry sum.
Even then, we had a chance to put the matter right because although they had the option to make the deal permanent, we had the opportunity to make him feel as if he’d be welcomed back at Celtic Park. When we need so many players, and especially in this area, it is an act of incomprehensible stupidity not to bring this guy home and sound him out.
But without a manager we can’t of course, although I find it hard to believe that Postecoglou would not want a look at him and the option to retain his services.
Lawwell must be stewing over that one, but he’s as much to blame for it as anyone. Had we gotten our business done in a timely and professional fashion a new manager would have had a chance to evaluate everyone and give Hendry some assurances.
Hendry is clearly headed for England, and should he have a successful Euros the chances of that will be even higher.
We have missed out on one here, and I don’t think we’ll be happy when we see where he ends up.
Jack Hendry is going to be one of the “one’s that got away” and this is worse, in some ways, than McGinn and McCarthy and other top Scottish talents who’ve slipped through our fingers over the years.
This is worse than Andy Robertson who was in our academy.
We had this guy in the first team squad. We sent him out on loan to learn … and then when he’d proved worthy of consideration we let him go because we didn’t have our act together.
That is sore.
That is going to hurt, all the more because we were the architects of our own mess here, and only have ourselves to blame.