A view from Burnley fan account @CricketFieldEnd following the free agent arrival of Jeff Hendrick on a four-year deal.
Here’s what he told us about our latest signing at St James’ Park:
Jeff Hendrick – Every team has got a utility man that can play in a handful of positions, in Hendrick, you’re getting exactly that.
Naturally a central midfield, due to Burnley’s ever depleting squad, no thanks to injuries, Jeff was forced out onto the right wing and looked solid there, perhaps at times more comfortable there than in the centre of the park. Most of his goals for Burnley have either been match winners or gained us a point.
His finish against Everton to complete a full team move was something else, his goal against Bournemouth on the half volley was first class too.
Firstly I’ll speak of his weaknesses. If you look at Heung Min Son’s goal against Burnley last season you’ll see that Hendrick amongst others didn’t try to even challenge Son for his goal which won goal of the season. He sometimes can lose sight in a game and sort of trudge around the field a bit if he feels the game is gone but when he’s focused he’s so reliable. His long range passing can be lack lustre at times but on his day, he works just as hard for the team as the others.
Strengths, apart from competing with the likes of Andy Carroll for longest hair in the dressing room are his ability to read a game. Hendrick will work tirelessly for you and sit in that pocket of space where a man’s needed. I’d also say he’s very good defensively, especially the games when your on the back foot.
As a character, he’s one of the nice guys of football. Keeps himself in shape, loves a good old crack with the lads, on a free transfer your getting a quality and sometimes extremely under-appreciated workhorse.
If you were to ask me if I’d have Jeff Hendrick still at the club, I’d say yes without a second thought. For the last 2 maybe 3 seasons he’s been a scapegoat for Burnley fans and unfairly at times. Dwight McNeil could lose the ball and fans would say unlucky but with Jeff, he sometimes received barrels of abuse that were unnecessary in my opinion.
The reason he didn’t stay is because he was promised contract negotiations prior to COVID and they didn’t materialise, he wasn’t the only player either. I think after the months and the way that things were going it give Jeff more of a picture of what he wanted and thats why he never signed a new deal. That and the fact he was probably fed up of the flack he took at times too.
Personally I think Hendrick would slot easily into your midfield. I’d hate for him to just be a number to cover the sale of Colback because he could really offer Newcastle something. I’d even go as far as saying he’ll be your little Irish Tiote!!