West Bromwich Albion are yet to appoint a new manager but it appears they’re wasting no time assessing potential summer targets.
According to 90min, Albion are one of a string of clubs keen on central defender Jack Hendry after his superb season on loan at Oostende.
It looks set to be complex, however, with the Belgian club understood to have a £2 million option to buy in the loan deal they agreed with Celtic.
But is it a move that the West Midlands club should be pursuing, is he a guaranteed starter, and what exactly would he offer?
We examine just that…
Is it a good potential move?
He’d be a good addition but the fee might make it one they should avoid.
West Brom will likely be looking to add more options in central defence ahead of their return to the and Hendry looks a really exciting defender.
The issue could come from the competition they face from other clubs, with the likes of Premier League duo Leeds United and Newcastle United linked, and the cost of the deal due to that.
It is understood it could cost the Baggies £10 million to sign him and you’d question whether that’s the best way to spend their money.
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Would he start?
It depends upon what system Albion set up in but he may have to wait for his chance.
Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley are still at the Hawthorns and as well as being regular fixtures last term, were key figures when the Baggies were last promoted to the Premier League.
Hendry looks to have the potential to be Bartley’s long-term replacement but unless West Brom are planning to set up with three centre-backs or his stock rises significantly in the upcoming European Championships, he may have to wait for his chance to impress.
What does he offer?
At 6ft4, Hendry is a powerful defender and someone that is comfortable winning the ball in the air and on the floor.
He’s more than just physical, however, and his average of 6.29 interceptions, 12.35 recoveries, and 2.99 clearances per 90 this season (Wyscout) highlight how well he reads the game.
Hendry is more than capable in possession as well, averaging 35.27 passes per game at a hugely impressive 90.4% success rate, and he’s not afraid to bring the ball forward – something that will be an asset for the Baggies given they’re likely to be in the ascendancy in the majority of their games next season.
His aerial prowess – having won 70.7% of his aerial duels this term – gives him the potential to be a nuisance in the opposition box but his final third contribution (one goal and two assists) is likely an area that Albion would likely want him to improve on.