Former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark insists supporters might need to alter their expectations of Jeff Hendrick.
While Jeff Hendrick has featured in all but two of Newcastle’s Premier League games since his August move from Burnley, it appears that some supporters expected more creativity from the Irishman.
Hendrick scored and registered an assist on his debut for the Magpies but has not managed a goal or assist since September and it was perhaps the incredible stats on his first appearance that led supporters to believe that the Dubliner could be relied on to create chances every week.
But Lee Clark, who started and finished his playing career at St. James’ Park, claims that Hendrick was not signed for his flair or creative output.
“Jeff Hendrick has been workmanlike at best since joining Newcastle this past summer,” Clark told Tribal Football last week. “He was always going to be that type of player. He was that type of player at Burnley and the Republic of Ireland. He’s an honest player, gives everything.
“Are we looking to him to make defence splitting passes like Grealish or Maddison? That’s not his game. He’s very similar to the midfield players we’ve got so it has been a difficult period for him.
“I hope Newcastle can kick on after beating Palace last weekend. Even though the quality wasn’t great, to win away from home in the Premier League is not an easy feat.
“The team has to pick up their level of performances, there’s no disguising that. They haven’t been anywhere near the level that’s required. But Palace was an important result and hopefully that can give them a lift.”
Hendrick was linked with Serie A clubs AC Milan and Roma over the summer but ultimately decided to make the move to Newcastle, although Burnley boss Sean Dyche was not happy about how the transfer played out.