Newcastle United did their homework before agreeing to sign Jeff Hendrick.
Prior to organising his medical and agreeing personal terms with Jeff Hendrick, Newcastle completed thorough background checks on the Irish midfielder, who was a free agent after opting not to extend his contract with Burnley.
Hendrick signed a four-year deal with the Magpies on Monday and has already met his new teammates and trained with the team.
Wanting to ensure he was signing a quality player, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce did his due diligence and rang his old friend Mick McCarthy to learn more about Hendrick.
✍️ #NUFC are pleased to confirm the signing of Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick!
The midfielder has penned a four-year deal at St. James' Park.
Welcome, @JeffHendrick92! ⚫️⚪️
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 24, 2020
McCarthy gave Hendrick a glowing reference and eased any concerns Bruce might have had.
“Yes, Steve rang me to ask about him and whether he’d be a good signing – and I told him exactly what I’m telling you. I just said: ‘Yes. In a heartbeat.’ They were my first words,” McCarthy told ChronicleLive.
“I think it’s a great signing. You don’t get too many as good as Jeff on a free transfer, that’s for sure. It’s an unbelievable bargain for Newcastle and I think he’ll be great for Steve.
“He’s been doing it for Burnley for four years in the Premier League. For me he was brilliant. I think he’s a very good player, he’s athletic, he’s got a good touch, he can see a pass and he’s got a goal in him. I said to Brucey: ‘He’s all of those things and he’s 6ft 1ins, 6ft 2ins – he can defend corner kicks as well.’
“I think there’s more to come from him as well, he’s got more to offer than he’s shown so far.”
Hendrick scored the first goal of McCarthy’s second spell in charge of the Republic of Ireland, netting a winner in a scrappy Euro 2020 qualifier against Gibraltar.
And McCarthy believes that there will be more goals in Hendrick if he’s given the freedom to roam for Newcastle.
“He has more to offer,” McCarthy repeated. “I think he has goals in him if he’s allowed to run into the box – that’s what I mean. He’s not just a hard-working, diligent, sensible player – I think if he’s allowed to make his runs into the box then there are goals in him.
“He is a brilliant lad.”