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RODGERS HAILS HENDRY, AJER

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BRENDAN RODGERS has tipped Jack Hendry to become a mainstay for Celtic and Scotland for a decade or more.

The 22-year-old central defender, who joined the Hoops in January, has featured five times for the champions and made his full international debut in the 1-0 win over Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday night.

Rodgers said: “Jack’s obviously come in from Dundee and settled very well. He has the qualities to play for Celtic and the international team for the next 10 years or so.

“His profile suits the highest level. First and foremost, he’s quick. He can defend and, for me, it’s very important that you can deal with the ball.

“For a player making his first appearance, away from home on the international stage, I thought he was very composed and looked as if he’d played a lot more games than he has done.

“He made one critical interception in the game that I’m not sure many Scottish centre-halves could make, to get across the ground at speed and block and defend it. I thought he was exceptional in his performance.”

The Hoops boss added: “The great thing with Jack is that he wants to learn and keep improving and the same is true for Kristoffer Ajer.

“Big Kris came here as a midfield player. We felt he might have a more successful career if he could play from behind.

“He’s 6’5” and quick, but he needed to learn how to head it and tactically understand the position.

“For him, at 19 years of age, to come in at Celtic and then play two 90 minute games for Norway, I think he’s got a great career ahead of him. He has a real hunger.

“I’m delighted for both those boys who could go away and get those first caps so young.”

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