Former Mag Daryl Murphy has revealed that new signing Jeff Hendrick asked him for advice before he made the switch to Tyneside – and has called his former Republic of Ireland team-mate a “dream” signing for Steve Bruce.
The veteran striker – who helped us secure promotion back to the top flight back in the 16/17 season – believes the former Burnley man’s ability to ‘leave everything on the pitch’ will prove to be a good fit for our club and has also given insight into what the Irish international is like to work with.
Murphy and Hendrick played in the same side during Euro 2016, making two appearances together before crashing out against finalists France at the last 16 stage.
Here is what Murphy had to say about our new recruit during a chat with The Chronicle:
“I briefly spoke to him and texted him and congratulated him. He just couldn’t wait to get going,”
“Jeff asked me questions about how it was as a club and places to live and stuff like that but I just said to him, ‘Look, you’re going to love it. You’ll really enjoy it and when you actually see the stadium and go and play, you’ll see how big the club is’.
“It’s just a bit unfortunate with the dilemma we’re in at the moment with fans not being able to go to the stadium, but hopefully in the near future that will all be taken care of and we’ll get the fans back because what a place it is when the place is rocking and you’re winning games and you have 50,000 fans there.
“Jeff will realise what a club it is. He is one of those players who’s very versatile. He gives you everything he has and leaves everything on the pitch. He’s a manager’s dream, really.
“As long as you give everything for the fans, they see that. I think I was proof of that, especially after playing for Sunderland before going there. They gave me the benefit of the doubt and once you do well for them, that’s all they ask and they get right behind you.
“If you’re working hard for the team and you’re giving everything you have then you’ll have no problems. Given the character that Jeff is and how hard he works for the team, he will be fine.”
Murphy was one of the unsung heroes of our Championship campaign, and having played for rivals Sunderland too, you can see why he’d be an obvious reference point for Hendrick to call upon ahead of a potential move to the North-East.
He has recently made the move back to Waterford, his hometown club in Ireland where he spent three years plying his trade between 2002-2005.
His words reinforce exactly why the midfielder could be a very astute acquisition for our club, with his versatility and work-rate something that every Premier League squad in our position needs.
An international player with top flight experience joining our ranks is something that certainly shouldn’t be frowned upon. When our fanbase expressed similar concerns back in 2016, the signing of Daryl Murphy himself went on to show exactly why that should be the case.