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Brentford

22-year-old faces big decision with Celtic lurking

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…

The summer transfer window may be over for Championship and Premier League teams when it comes to incomings, but with the market still open in the majority of the other major European leagues, it will be some time yet until those in the top two tiers of English football can truly relax when it comes to the future of their key assets.

One such Championship side who currently find themselves in that position are Brentford, with Scottish champions Celtic reportedly taking an interest in Rico Henry as they look to replace Kieran Tierney following his move to Arsenal last week.

If Celtic do indeed come with an offer for Henry, then it feels like there will be a big decision for the young defender to make as he maps out his future career in the game.

The rivalry between Scottish football and the Championship is certainly something that feels like it has been magnified this summer, following claims made by Charlton manager Lee Bowyer that Joe Aribo’s move from The Valley to Rangers earlier this summer was bad for his career.

Now, you feel as though Henry will find himself the focus of similar scrutiny should he be given the choice between Celtic and Brentford.

If that does indeed happen, there can be no question it will be a tough call for Henry to make.

On the one hand, Celtic offers him the chance of competing both for silverware and in European football, two things that are surely tempting to any footballer competing at the professional level of the game.

However, as Bowyer himself suggested with regards to Aribo earlier in the summer, Henry may well wonder whether a move north of the border could ultimately damage his chances of a move into the Premier League further down the line in his career.

With Brentford by contrast, Henry is part of a team that many appear to feel are drawing closer and closer to a long-awaited step up to the Premier League, and remaining at the club to be part of that could prove just as attractive to the left-back as the prospect of competing for silverware in Scotland.

Then there is the added question for Henry of where his departure would leave Brentford.

As has already been mentioned, with the window now closed for clubs in the top two tiers of English football, if Henry does leave before the end of August, that would leave Brentford unable to bring in a replacement for him until January at the very earliest, something which isn’t going to help their own chances of a push for promotion to the top flight.

Given the Bees were the club who gave Henry his opportunity in the higher levels of the game, you wonder whether he will want to leave the club in that difficult situation, particularly when they are apparently planning to offer him a new contract in a bid to keep him at the club long term.

Clearly, this will not be an easy decision to make for Henry, with plenty of things to consider should this apparent interest from Celtic materialise into something concrete.

You feel therefore, that when it comes to making his choice, it could be well worth Henry remembering that at just 22-years-old, he still has plenty of time left in his career to achieve whatever it is he wants in his career, whether he moves to Scotland or stays in England beyond the end of August.

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