Having made his return to the starting XI amidst an injury crisis and bounced back from defeat to Kilmarnock to keep a clean sheet against Aberdeen on Saturday, Celtic defender Jack Hendry may well get another opportunity to prove his critics wrong against Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Well, with Dedryck Boyata absent and manager Brendan Rodgers sometimes opting for a three-man defence at the beginning of the campaign, Hendry got the nod in the Bhoys’ backline.
However, he produced shaky display after shaky display – which did not go down well with his own fans on Twitter – as the Scottish Premiership holders not only got knocked out of the Champions League, but also made a poor start domestically as well.
Boyata eventually staying with the club and the loan signing of Filip Benkovic from Leicester City – along with a knee injury for the 23-year-old – saw him drop down the pecking order, although he has been drafted back in recently with Benkovic, Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic all struggling with various issues.
Should he get the nod in the starting XI in Austria – which seems likely unless either Ajer or Benkovic are fit to return or are risked – then Hendry will come up against one of the most in-form strikers in world football right now in Munas Dabbur.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”302265″ player=”12034″ title=”Rafa’s Pub Facts The Icelandic Coutinho & The Scottish Ronaldo”]
The Israel international has scored 13 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions already for Red Bull Salzburg this term, including four during their unsuccessful Champions League qualifying campaign and one in their opening Europa League group clash win against Red Bull Leipzig last time out.
Hendry would certainly have his hands full taking care of the prolific 26-year-old, but he can also prove to Celtic fans that he can be a mainstay in their defence for years to come – starting from now – with an imperious display.