fucked if I know
- Oct 4, 2014
Celtic left it late to complete the deadline day signing of Dundee defender Jack Hendry last night.
Brendan Rodgers was determined to get his man and the fact the Hoops shelled out a fee which could reach £1.5m and handed the player a four-and-a-half year contract shows just how highly the Parkhead boss rates the 22-year-old.
Celtic were relentless in their pursuit of the defender after Rodgers first earmarked him as a star last year and a close inspection of his performances and statistics shows exactly why.
Rodgers has instilled a style of play on the champions with a strict emphasis on playing the ball from the back and retaining possession.
ndry is comfortable on the ball
Hendry's ability on the ball fits the bill perfectly. In fact, this season alone, the big centre back has the best stats for dribbling in the entire top flight.
Forget Daniel Candeias, Ryan Christie and Scott Sinclair - Hendry's 85 per cent success rate for dribbling is the best in the entire league.
To put that in footballing terms, when faced with an opponent in a one-on-one situation where he has the ball then 85 per cent of the time Hendry succeeds in beating his man without losing possession.
New Celtic signing Jack Hendry is unveiled at Celtic Park (Image: SNS)
Add to that Hendry's place at 27th in the entire Premiership for passing success and you have a modern defender in every meaning of the word.
Hendry has made 764 passes in his 24 top team appearances this season although that is well off current Hoops stoppers Dedryck Boyata (1474) and Kieran Tierney (1601).
Not quite Virgil Van Dijk yet but the similarity in playing styles cannot be ignored.
Rodgers first showed his interest in Hendry after a league match at Parkhead last October when he tipped him for future Scotland honours.
Rodgers said: "The boy Hendry at the back I thought was excellent. He’s quick and strong and is a good size.
“Scotland need centre halves and that looks like a good kid. He’s tall, he can run and he can pass. He looks a talent."