Having joined Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers on loan from Newcastle United for the rest of the season in January, Jeff Hendrick has endured a mixed start to life at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
After securing a £40m deal to sign Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon, the Magpies sent Hendrick out on loan to west London for the remainder of the campaign, with the Republic of Ireland international deemed surplus to requirements by Eddie Howe.
The 30-year-old had only made three Premier League appearances this term prior to his move to the capital and has already enjoyed significantly more game-time at QPR.
Having made six Championship appearances already for the Hoops, Hendrick will certainly be enjoying playing football more regularly. However, Mark Warburton’s side have seen a slight dip in form since the Irishman joined.
Since the end of the January transfer window, the west London outfit have won just one of their last eight games across both the league and FA Cup, with their sole victory in that period coming at home to Blackpool in late February.
It did take Hendrick time to be integrated into the starting line-up after playing just 136 minutes in his opening four matches as a QPR player, but he has since played every minute of Warburton’s side’s last four matches, although they have lost their last two.
Whether or not the 30-year-old is a contributing factor to the Hoops’ decline in form is up for debate, although they have dropped out of the play-off places since the midfielder’s arrival.
Having joined the Magpies from fellow Premier League outfit Burnley in 2020, the 30-year-old has only made 27 appearances for Newcastle since that move and looks increasingly unlikely to get much of a look-in at St James’ Park.
Indeed, he has failed to convince in a black and white shirt, being branded “stupid” by Alex Scott over a foul on Takumi Minamino last season for which the Irishman was sent off. The £6.3m-rated midfielder has also had to bear the brunt of criticism from numerous Geordies over his performances, the standard of which is reflected in him being the club’s fifth-lowest rated player in 2020/21 as per WhoScored.
Moreover, QPR may not have seen enough of Hendrick to convince them that it would be shrewd to sign him permanently in the summer, so that the final two months of the Championship season could be vital for the Republic of Ireland international to make an impression ahead of the summer.
If the Hoops are interested in a permanent deal, then Newcastle must take them up on any such offer, as the 30-year-old appears to be holding his parent club back.