Burnley parted company with multiple first-team players who rejected contract extensions at Turf Moor in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Sean Dyche described the situation as “strange”, before Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and Hendrick departed, with the Irish international now searching for a new club.
Newcastle United are reportedly the frontrunners to complete a deal to sign the free agent, even though there has been interest from Italian giants AS Roma and AC Milan. Former Premier League defender Alan Hutton has suggested that Steve Bruce will be thrilled if the Magpies can get a deal for the midfielder over the line.
What did he say?
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton said: “I think he’d [Bruce] be over the moon with that, I think he’s been a top-quality player – it was touted that AC Milan were interested.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur defender added: “I think he’s been a great player for Burnley, he would definitely fit into the way Steve Bruce likes to play, and I think Steve Bruce has got an eye for a player – he can see how he’s going to fit in.
“He would definitely fit the bill at Newcastle and the way they’re heading at the moment.”
Steady, not sensational
Since arriving at Burnley from Derby County for a then club-record £10.5m fee, Hendrick has adapted well to the Premier League without attracting too much attention to his performances. In total he has appeared 122 times in the division, scoring nine goals from the engine room, along with providing five assists.
More impressively the 28-year-old has recorded 500 recoveries in the top-flight, highlighting that he is most effective at winning the ball back. It is unlikely that Hendrick would replace Newcastle’s top scorer from last term, Jonjo Shelvey, in the heart of the midfield. Still, the Irish international could provide competition for Isaac Hayden alongside the playmaker.
Furthermore, with the loss of Matty Longstaff, who is officially no longer a Newcastle United player, and Nabil Bentaleb’s return to the Bundesliga after his loan, Bruce needs midfield reinforcements. It is easy to see why Hutton has suggested the Magpies’ manager would be so happy with the addition of a vastly experienced and reliable top-flight performer who would cost no more than his wages.