Brendan Rodgers backs Celtic’s Jack Hendry to become Scotland international

Celtic

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers believes new signing Jack Hendry is in the right environment to develop into a Scotland international.

The 22-year-old defender penned a four-and-a-half-year deal late on transfer deadline day for a fee revealed by the Taysiders to be a club record, bettering the 1.2million paid by the Parkhead club for goalkeeper Robert Douglas in 2000.

Rodgers is confident that the former Partick Thistle and Wigan player could make a real impact and become an international player.

Ahead of the trip to Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday, the Northern Irishman said: “I have no question about that.

“I brought him here because I think he can play Champions League football and obviously if you are playing Champions League football, that is a great step for you to move into international football.

“It is the environment. He comes into an environment with a real winning mentality with a real emphasis on becoming better every day.

“You have to come in with no ego, got to be able to improve and take on the responsibilities of being a Celtic player.

“But there is no question that if he can do all these things you have a player there with an incredible profile.

“The job is to develop that talent and hopefully he can align that with the mentality of playing under pressure each week then hopefully Scotland will have a centre half with really big attributes.”

Rodgers highlighted those attributes which first caught his eye earlier in the season .

The former Swansea City and Liverpool manager said: “At 22 years of age, he is six foot three, super quick, a good one versus one defender and there is lots of areas he can improve in but his potential is huge.

“I said to the board that this is a player who can be a big player.

“Obviously you come to Celtic, you have to deal with pressure, expectation, the scrutiny is on you.

“If you can deal with all those things, he has another 13 years hopefully as a top player them you then have a Scottish centre half who has all the attributes and profile as a top class player. I think he can be a fantastic player.

“He is ready to play. He has played in different systems at Dundee and as a young player he was a right winger, interestingly enough.

“He is still developing but I would have no hesitation in putting him in.”

Rodgers is expecting another test against Steve Clarke’s side, who drew 1-1 when they travelled to Celtic Park in October.

He said: “Stevie has done an excellent job. He has them set up deep, they defend really deep and deny you space, especially in the final third of the pitch.

“They play narrow so you have to be patient.

“He has got them very well organised, very tight and brought in some different players so it will be a tough game for us.”

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