Former Derby County star likely to return to EFL after Premier League release - Rams could sign him for free

Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring for Newcastle UnitedJeff Hendrick celebrates scoring for Newcastle United
Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring for Newcastle United | Getty Images
Jeff Hendrick made over 210 appearances for Derby between 2011 and 2016

Former Derby County midfielder Jeff Hendrick is a free agent this summer and looks likely for a return to the EFL after he will leave Newcastle when his contract expires.

The Irishman has spent four years at St James’ Park where he has made just 27 appearances amid a couple of loan moves to the likes of QPR, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday where he spent last season.

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According to the Athletic, Hendrick is ‘likely’ to move back to the EFL this summer on free agent deal, which could provide a good option for Paul Warne and Derby.

Hendrick plays as an attacking midfielder with a number of qualities including his creativity, physicality and ability to pop up with a goal.

He made over 210 appearances for Derby between 2011 and 2016 after he came through the Rams academy and has scored 26 goals for the club.

The 32 year-old is also no stranger to the international stage as he has 79 caps for Ireland where he has also netted twice.

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Despite being the wrong side of 30, Hendrick could be an ideal option to help with Derby’s depth in midfield. He would help replace the experience of Conor Hourihane and is certainly still capable of playing to a high level in the second tier.

Derby are in need of help in central midfield with Max Bird, Conor Hourihane, Korey Smith and Ebou Adams all having departed this summer.

Hendrick wouldn’t provide a long-term fix for Paul Warne, but as the Rams aim to become a stable Championship club again, he could come in and make an impact this season.

For his career, the midfielder will be hoping that he can rekindle some of his former success at a new club after his impact at Newcastle was limited.

Before joining the Magpies, Hendrick was at Burnley in the Premier League where he did find success.

A move back to Pride Park could well suit both parties.

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