There’s a lot of Celtic transfer news today, but most of it appears to be about players going out. What I’ll say about today’s stories are that they prove, once again, that Lennoxtown is Scottish football’s foremost producer of football talent. No other club’s youth system has given so many players a career in the game. What a credit that is to us, and especially as several of our own first team have graduated from that school of hard knocks.
Today Dundee Utd have signed Sam Wardrop, our young right-back, on a two-year deal and are said to be on the brink of adding Jack Aitchison to their ranks on a one-season loan deal. That’s a good move for the kid; I know he’s rated highly at Parkhead but he’s bumping his head on the glass ceiling at the moment. He needs regular, first team, football.
He will be back at Celtic Park. He is a top class prospect.
The other name being linked with a move away, again on loan, is Lewis Morgan who is allegedly wanted by Jack Ross who’s just taken the Sunderland job. You have to admire his impudence in asking. I understand exactly why he would, and because I do I also know it would be the very worst move that we could make. We’ve not signed a “prospect” player here; Lewis Morgan is capable of getting into and playing a role in the first team squad.
I want him at Celtic Park, and there’s more than just a desire to see what he’s got at the heart of that. We cannot keep signing talented young Scottish players and then bundling them out the door before they’ve had a chance to make their mark. It will get us a bad reputation. Scott Allan was a deal I never understood and it was no surprise that it didn’t work out, but I was astonished that we never got to see Ryan Christie before he was loaned away.
Sometimes these moves work. Kristofer Ajer came back from Kilmarnock and has excelled at central defence to the extent we gave him a new contract and let Sviatchenko depart stage left. That’s a sign that these moves can be all to the good … but Morgan is different. He has exceptional skill and the determination to succeed. That Ross thinks he can have a major impact on his team in the English Championship says it all.
A player who can produce on that stage belongs at Celtic Park, frankly, and that’s why I doubt we’ll see Ross succeed in his audacious and somewhat cheeky bid. Brendan doesn’t need to take a long look at Lewis Morgan in pre-season to know what we’ve got here, because he’s watched him enough times already. This kid is going to make it.
He does, however, face one big challenge … and I’ll be writing about that later on.