There is a lot of talk this weekend about Liam Morrison, the former Celtic youth player who signed for Bayern Munich instead of remaining at Parkhead and who is now appearing in The Guardian list of the best young players in Europe.
This naturally swings us all back around to a conversation about whether or not we’re stupid not to keep these guys at the club.
On the subject of Morrison that’s a moot point, because we did try to keep him but Bayern made him a better offer.
Nobody should be giving the kid a hard time because he chose to accept that offer.
He was fully entitled to do so, and he went with the club’s best wishes. Since then, other young players have left to explore their options elsewhere and that has caused a bit of a flap. Morrison’s inclusion in The Guardian piece has re-opened a bunch of old wounds.
But what does it mean? Well, not very much. To understand how little it means you have to go back to 2015; it’s five years on from there and that will give us a clear understanding of where the 50 who The Guardian featured at that time have ended up.
One of them – Ianis Hagi – is at Sevco after flopping at his two previous clubs.
Would you say he’s gone on to be one of the best players in Europe?
He’s been dropped in recent weeks to accommodate Brandon Barker for God’s sake.
Few of the others have gone on to be household names; The Guardian’s five-year review of them reveals that Christian Pulisic is the one who’s gone furthest although Timothy Fosu-Mensah is doing well. Martin Ødegaard was already at Real Madrid when he was featured, which is something of a cheat since we all knew he was a great talent.
What I’m saying – and what should already be obvious – is that these lists are very subjective, very hit and miss.
Because that’s the nature of the game when you’re that age; some of these kids are going to fall off the planet.
Others are going to wind up overhyped at sides like Sevco.
And one or two, a select handful of them, will go on to become top stars.
I am sure it is a nice boost for the kid to appear on such a list; fair play to him and I hope he goes on to buck the trend, which is that many of those on it never do scale the heights of the game in the way they were predicted to.
By virtue of the qualifying criteria, all the players on the list are at that point in their careers where it could all go right … or wrong.
Only time is going to tell us where Morrison winds up.
But I’ll tell you this; life at Celtic Park will go on either way.
Remember, this was is a player who never made a senior appearance, a player who did not contribute to the success of the past few years.
So even as we wish him all the best it’s worth bearing in mind who we are and what we’ve got going on.
That will always be more important to most of our fans.