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Jeff can go the Serie A route

With exit confirmed, Dub can follow path of Brady


HORIZONS NEW: Jeff Hendrick is moving on from Burnley. Photo: PA

HORIZONS NEW: Jeff Hendrick is moving on from Burnley. Photo: PA

HORIZONS NEW: Jeff Hendrick is moving on from Burnley. Photo: PA

Liam Brady was only 24 when he made the decision which would define the rest of his career, leaving the comfort and safety of England to head for a foreign land, one which had closed its borders to foreign footballers for decades.

Jeff Hendrick's a bit more advanced in life as he turns 29 on his next birthday and if he does decide to move to Italy, as Brady did 40 years earlier, it won't have the same impact as Brady's move. But it will still be the biggest decision of his career, financially and football-wise.

Passport control and other formalities were ignored when Brady, then a star with Arsenal, arrived in Turin and was carried on the shoulders of delirious fans through customs to begin a glorious two-year stint with Juventus, which yielded two league titles.

Brady and Hendrick share a background (Dubliners who learned their trade at St Kevin's Boys) but such a coronation would not be expected for Hendrick, if he does actually move to Italy.

Brady's move to Juve helped revive them and they won the league title after a two-year gap, Brady's name still spoken of in hushed tones in Turin.

The next move is a chance for Hendrick to move his own career up a level, maybe not to the standard of winning Serie A but pushing on.

He has options on the table but we now know that staying at Burnley is not one of them, the club confirming that he was definitely gone "after the club was unable to agree terms on a new deal with the Republic of Ireland international".

Boss Sean Dyche has been frustrated with the club's inability to keep big names like Hendrick and Joe Hart on board, and a depature on a free transfer, for a player who cost them £10m, is bad business from their side.

He wished them well on their exits but it's clear his preference was for the likes of Hendrick to stay.

"There's nothing other than respect for the players who have left," said Dyche yesterday. "They have been brilliant servants to me, themselves and the team. Jeff has been a fantastic professional for us. He has delivered in many different positions with a great attitude towards what it is to be at Burnley Football Club."

Some continental clubs glanced at the then-Derby County player Hendrick after Euro 2016 but he opted for Albion, moving to Burnley.

A stint in a league like Italy or Spain could coax more out of Hendrick, as Juventus did with Brady four decades ago. Irish football can only hope he makes the right decision.