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Liam Henderson has enjoyed a fabulous rise after leaving Celtic

Earlier this week, former Celtic target and Hoops academy product Aaron Hickey became the first Scot to score in the top-flight of Italian football for 35 years.

Hickey came through the Parkhead academy but left the Bhoys a number of years ago after he moved to Hearts.

Celtic have tried to bring him back to Glasgow but he is now playing for Bologna in Serie A.

He finally opened his account for them in midweek, firing home the first goal scored in Italy by a Scot since Graeme Souness.

Hickey isn’t the only Scottish football enjoying his trade in Italy, however. He is joined by Liam Henderson, a player that Celtic arguably foolishly let go in 2018.

The midfielder isn’t in the same bracket as the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele or Kristoffer Ajer but he’s clearly enjoyed a very vibrant career since departing Parkhead.

Would Henderson get in the current Celtic side?

No chance!

No chance!

Of course!

Of course!

Henderson only featured on 37 occasions for the Bhoys and after gaining just one substitute appearance in 2017/18, he headed to Bari in the winter window.

His move cost the Serie B club just £108,000 in what turned out to be a bargain capture.

Since earning that move, the 25-year-old has jumped around clubs in Italy and has played for Hellas Verona, Lecce and now he’s at Empoli.

The Scot has made quite the impact too. He helped his side to a famous win over Juventus in the early weeks of the season as he defeated Paulo Dybala, Matthijs de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci and co.

His stirring performances in Italy have seen his value rise quite considerably. Via Transfermarkt, he is now rated a £1.98m. That isn’t the most striking of price tags but it’s a truly remarkable increase of 1733%.

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Although he failed to discover himself at Paradise, he is now beginning to live up to the bright future that Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers predicted for him.

Speaking back in 2017, the current Leicester boss said: “The last time he was here, he gave away a penalty and he was ill-disciplined in his performance.

“I think coming back here now you see the discipline in his game, and he’s got a goal in him. He’s got a personality that you need to play for a club like Celtic.”

Lennon added: “I gave him his debut at 17. He’s a lovely footballer and a good boy as well.

“He wants to learn and he’s got that humility about him, where he wants to listen and get better.

“He’s the type of kid you want to work with and I think he’s got a bright future in the game.”

Evidently, by playing among some elite clubs in Italy, his progression has come along at an eye-catching rate.

With Celtic now lacking genuine midfield options after Callum McGregor’s injury, Henderson would have been a valuable option for Ange Postecoglou. He is one that got away.

AND in other news, Celtic may have another Karamoko Dembele in unseen teenager who’s a big “goal threat”…

Article title: Liam Henderson has enjoyed a fabulous rise after leaving Celtic

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