The List Of Scot’s Based In England Available For Free Will Not Be Tempting Celtic.

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Every now and again, even the clickbait mainstream sites produce something halfway interesting and even illuminating when it comes to the debates swirling around our club. Yesterday I spoke about how we need to keep an eye on our Scottish produced players, for the purposes of European football registration.

That’s something people at Parkhead will certainly have on their minds.

In that piece, I lamented the genuine lack of any standout player in Scotland who would tempt us to do business. This isn’t to say that there aren’t good players here, but developed locally? There is no Armstrong or Christie or McGinn or Turnbull in the current crop, no-one who stands out head and shoulders above anyone else.

And that sort of leaves us looking to just one other place; England. Where there is a lot of Scottish produced talent at clubs. But the good ones will be expensive, and the ones with top flight experience even more so.

That’s why when Football Scotland put together their list of the 30 Scottish players down south who are out of contract in the summer it got my attention. Might there be anyone on that list who we might consider grabbing, and who would be good enough to get into our team?

Unsurprisingly – but still disappointing – the answer is a resounding no.

Of the early names, three are linked with the club at Ibrox, which only goes to show how desperate they are for warm bodies because none of the three – Ollie McBurnie, John Fleck or Ross Stewart – would get on our bench.

The two other “headline” players are James McArthur, deep into his 30’s, and Callum Patterson, a decent enough player but nowhere near our standard. Hearts are said to be closing in on getting him, which is good for them as he’s been there before.

The first name on the “best of the rest list” is actually Matt Ritchie, who’s better than the other top names put together, which is why he’s currently in the Newcastle United first team squad, albiet not playing regularly. And he’s 33.

Also, and not wanting to miss the point, he’s actually English and came through the Portsmouth academy … he qualifies to play for Scotland through his dad but has never kicked as much as a ball up here, so for European registration purposes he’d do us no good whatsoever even if we did fancy him, and there’s no real reason why we would.

The rest of the names – Greg Docherty, Michael Rose, James Scott, Chris Martin, Jordan Archer, Liam Kelly, Liam Bridcutt, Robbie Hemfrey, Barry Bannan, Ryan Hardie, Ethan Hamilton, Liam Palmer, Dylan McGeough, Craig MacGillvray, Daniel Harvie, Regan Hendry, Craig Forsyth, Jack Grimmer, Clark Robertson, Jack Aitchison, Jim O’Brien, Phil Bardsley, Kyle Ferguson – are all fairly uninspiring.

The thing with out of contract players is that they are invariably in their 30’s or injury prone.

Not one of the guys on that list would improve our squad even a little; look at some of the names and you’ll see Dylan, Jack and Regan … they’ve been at Celtic already and moved on just to wind up on this ghastly list.

There’s no solution to our problem here.

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