Well this website got one of the late Christmas presents it was waiting for today as Celtic announced the signing of Gary Mackay Steven on a pre-contract deal.
Obviously, this is a wee bit disappointing because we’d hoped to see him strutting his stuff in the Hoops before this window shut, but we may yet and so we’re prepared to bite our tongues on this one for the moment … because, honestly, we’re excited over this guy.
Gary has an excellent pedigree in football, and it could have been even better.
He started his career at Ross County, and he was still a youth player when he was poached by Liverpool, for a six figure fee, at just 17.
At Anfield, he was hugely rated, but as he made his way up through first the youth ranks and then the reserves, disaster struck. Gary suffered a series of injuries, which set his career back.
Liverpool finally released him, with their best wishes, and he trained with Fulham a while before returning to Scotland, where he went to Airdrie, ironically enough as their replacement for a young kid who had gone to Celtic, a player called Tony Watt.
Gary played over 20 times for Airdrie, but a talent that big was never going stay with Diamonds, with respect to them, and it Dundee Utd soon swooped in.
His time at Utd saw him turn into a fantastic footballer, capable of little flashes of brilliance which make you wonder how far he’d have come at a top tier side like Liverpool.
The Dundee Utd team, as filled with very good players as it is, is simply no proving ground in quite the same way Anfield would have been … or Celtic Park will be.
Gary’s ability on the wing, where he enjoys beating players and crossing, will suit the style Ronny Deila plays. He is the first confirmed acquisition this year, and if he is an indication as to what we can expect in the next 12 months I am honestly encouraged.
This is the right signing, for the right reasons. This is not some punt from abroad, but a player the manager has seen with his own eyes and believes can do the job.
Gary, welcome to the best football club on Earth.
You’re going to fit right in here.