Newcastle United have announced their first signing of the 2020 Summer window, Jeff Hendrick.
Hendrick joins Newcastle as a free agent, after opting not to re-sign with former club Burnley. Hendrick has joined on a 4 year deal, and is expected to join the lads in York for preseason training soon.
Hendrick comes to Newcastle after a successful spell in the Premier League, making 139 appearances across all competitions for Burnley, with 122 of those coming in the Premier League, and 120 of those 139 appearances being starts. In 4 seasons with Burnley Henrick was only able to amass 10 goals and 7 assists from his role as a holding midfielder. This should not be cause for concern, as Burnley, like Newcastle were a team that was not scoring a ton of goals, and his 10 Goals, 7 assist numbers are pretty standard for a holding midfielder on a mid-table side. For reference Isaac Hayden in 3 Premier League seasons has 3 goals and 6 assists. It is nothing to write home about, but it is certainly is not awful.
Hendrick joined Burnley for £10m from Derby County where he amassed 215 appearances across all competitions and was able to contribute with 23 goals and 19 assists over 7 seasons. Since joining Burnley Hendrick has been a crucial part of Sean Dyche’s side, and it was a big shock to the organization when he opted to not re-sign with the club.
Hendrick’s best role and preferred role is as a central midfielder, however at Burnley he spent a lot of time playing right midfielder. Hendrick ideally would come into Newcastle’s side as the third or 4th choice central midfielder. Able to come off the bench and replace Shelvey or Hayden, but also versatile enough to replace a winger like ASm or a #10 like Miguel Almiron.
Hendrick brings a wealth of overall experience to a Newcastle side who could struggle next season under Bruce. In addition to his 338 senior appearances in 10 seasons, the 28-year old also has 54 caps for the Ireland National team. His experience is something Bruce values, and of course is something any Premier League manager would value. The hardest thing to do when building a Premier League team is to sign world class players, and it is even harder if you don’t have the riches of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City. So, getting a guy with a wealth of experience, who’s proven in the Prem, and won’t break the bank is always going to be a solid move.
Hendrick had this to say about joining Newcastle:
“I’ve had over 100 games in the Premier League but I want to keep going and keep improving with a different team. It’s going to be different for me, the demands with the bigger stadium, the crowd, how big the club is, so I’ve got to take that on and keep pushing myself and striving to get better.”
Bruce followed up Hendrick’s comments with some of his own:
“Jeff is someone I’ve admired for a long time. I watched him when he was at Derby, then he went to Burnley for a lot of money and couldn’t afford him, so I missed out then! He’s an experienced international football who can play all across the midfield so we welcome him aboard. He’ll be a big asset to us, on and off the pitch. He’s a great pro, down to earth, and at the age of 28 it’s a wonderful time to get somebody. It is the peak of his career - he’s a really fit boy who has played 122 times in the Premier League for Burnley over the last four years, and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the squad.”
Hendrick joins a Newcastle side that finished 14th last season, and is looking to build on that momentum in the midst of uncertainty about the future of the club. Stay tuned for more coverage of the window as Newcastle continues to wheel and deal.