Take a glance at Jack Hendry's CV and Manchester City could be in danger of underestimating their next Champions League test.

Club Brugge represent the ninth club in the 26-year-old's career that has included spells in League One and the Australian top flight in a much-travelled quest to reach the top.

Hendry definitely deserves closer inspection though, and behind a string of failed moves are a glowing list of references that any centre-back would be proud to have.

So strong were the comparisons to John Stones in the ball-playing defender's youth that he was actually lined up to go to Everton in 2015 as the England international contemplated swapping Goodison for Stamford Bridge. Instead, he was snapped up by Wigan — the club that missed out on Stones at the 11th hour two years previously.

Brendan Rodgers, the Leicester coach most recently seen giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United an embarrassing lesson in what a well-coached team looks like, predicted that Hendry had everything needed to play European and international football when he signed him for Celtic in January 2018.

And when that move didn't pan out as expected, it was City Football Group that offered the Scot an unconventional route back to enjoying his football with a switch to Melbourne City in 2020. Even if a serious injury restricted him to just two appearances, it was there that Hendry rediscovered the belief to work his way back to the top.

"Obviously it wasn't Melbourne itself that scouted me to go there, it was the City Group," he said. "It was obviously them as a group that saw me fit into their model.

"When I had a conversation about going over there it excited me. It was a stage of my career where I was a bit down and I needed something fresh, something that got me excited. That did.

"I had to go and get my mojo back I felt with the organisation and the setup over there that I could do that. It was a move to get Jack Hendry back, to show what I was made of.

Jack Hendry in action for CFG-owned Melbourne City

"Unfortunately it didn't pan out that way due to an injury but the first two games I came across well. I can't speak highly enough of the people out there, they helped me really well with the injury that I had and made me the person and player that I am just now with the rehab and the maturity I did over there.

"When I had my injury in Australia, I made sure that I worked harder than I'd ever done off the pitch both mentally and physically and got myself in the gym and tried to get myself in the best shape I ever have done. Thankfully I did that and it set me up for a great season last year and now kicking on this year."

Hendry's development in Melbourne earned him a move to KV Oostende, a Belgium first division club. They saw enough In him to make the deal permanent this year and just six appearances later Club Brugge more than tripled his value in a £6m deal. Soon after, he was voted the man of the match as he neutralised Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi to help his new side earn a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in their first Champions League group game.

Things are on the up for the centre-back, yet the challenges he has had to overcome to get where he is now mean is not vain enough to think he is the finished product. Not content simply with earning a recall to the Scotland squad that is also riding the crest of a wave under Steve Clarke, Hendry used the most recent international break to bombard teammates Scott McTominay and Andy Robertson for information about City.

United midfielder McTominay was the last player to score in a Manchester derby held with a full capacity, netting in a 2-0 win for the Reds back in March 2020. Robertson has also enjoyed success against the Blues, being part of the Liverpool team that knocked them out of the Champions League in and wrestled the Premier League title from their grasp in 2020.

Both have won more games against Pep Guardiola's side than they have lost and everything they shared has been passed onto the Club Brugge dressing room — even if it won't be aired publicly.

"I gave them a good few questions but me telling the answers might give too much away so I'll keep that to myself," said Hendry.

"I asked them about Man City, the way they'll play, the way they set up and how those teams set up against them and pick out their weak points so I've got a good insight about them.

"I probably won't be discussing that, I'll discuss that in-house and it's great to lean on these players that you mention that play against them a couple of times a season so it's good to have those conversations with players of that calibre."

After working so hard to find the right opportunity and ignore those writing him off, Hendry feels at home at Brugge and in Belgium — any questions about a move to the Premier League amid interest from a few clubs were confidently knocked back with a straight bat.

It is no wonder he is happy finding a club that meets his ambitions of challenging for trophies and playing in the Champions League, and this week throws up the chance for him to be on the same pitch as Stones, a player he was likened to as he was coming through. The pair have plenty of common reference points despite their different pathways, and will kick off on Tuesday evening as equals.

"He also came under criticism and he has come back and shown a really good mentality and he's a world class footballer," he said.

"He's a good role model for the likes of me and all footballers to look up to. There are different situations in football and it's not all easy going but it shows that if you believe in yourself and back yourself and you've a strong character that you can play at the top level in the Champions League and internationally.

"At a very young age, I was taught to play that way and I stand by it. It's put me in good stead in this step of my career while more teams are wanting to play out from the back. I'm thankful for that development that I had and the coaching that I had when I grew up that I'm not able to play that kind of way.

"I think that kind of football is becoming more and more common where you need defenders to play out from the back, be athletic and deal with the ball so, as I said, thankfully that I had that growing up and it puts me in a really good place now."

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