The Celtic Football Club has been one of the most successful sides in the Scottish Premier League. Founded in 1887, the team from Celtic Park has a record 52 league titles. The club won the Scottish Cup 40 times and lifted the Scottish League Cup trophy on 21 occasions. In 1967, the Bhoys lifted the European Cup after beating Inter Milan 2-1.
As of March 31st, 2022, the club leads the Scottish Premier League with 82 points, nine clear of Rangers. We’ve also seen a fair share of exciting matches where Celtic’s half-time changes made all the difference.
In this article, we’ll discuss Celtic’s relationships with the English Premier League clubs and mention some of the most notable transfers between the Glasgow side and the teams playing in the top flight of English football.
Celtic FC & Premier League: A transfer love story
There are a couple of reasons why Celtic has decent relationships with clubs playing in the English Premier League. First of all, there are historical ties between England and Scotland. The two nations have a massive rivalry on the pitch, but many Scottish players have played in the EPL over the years. According to Transfermarket, there have been several high-profile transfers over the years.
Celtic shares values with many EPL teams, such as community engagement and social responsibility. The Scottish club worked with Liverpool on different initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. Also, Celtic has developed an army of talented players, many of whom participated in the EPL.
Transferring players to EPL clubs has numerous potential benefits for players and Celtic. Since the EPL has much higher revenues than the Scottish league, moving to an English club means a significant pay rise for players. For Celtic, it also means bigger transfer fees. Such a financial gain can allow Celtic to buy new players or invest in the club’s infrastructure. Moving to the EPL, one of the most popular football competitions in the world could give Celtic players a chance to show their skills on a broader stage. Remember that the EPL has a higher competition level than Scotland.
The top-5 club’s record sales to Premier League
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Over the years, many players have left Glasgow and moved to an EFL club. Here are the five most expensive departures to the EFL:
- 5Keiran Tierney – After spending five seasons at Celtic Park, Tierney moved to Arsenal in 2019 for £23.75 million. The defender has since become a valuable asset for Mikael Arteta. He was only 17 when he debuted for Celtic in a friendly game against Tottenham Hotspur.
- Odsonne Edouard – Odsonne Edouard joined Celtic in 2017 on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. After scoring 11 goals, he moved permanently to Glasgow, where he spent the next four years. In 2021, Edouard moved to Crystal Palace in a £14.33 million deal.
- Kristoffer Ajer – The Norwegian centre-back was only 18 when he moved to Scotland. After a loan spell at Kilmarnock, he became one of the team’s leading players. In the summer of 2021, he signed a five-year contract with Brentford, with the EPL side paying £13.81 million for his services.
- Virgil van Dijk – The Dutch defender joined Celtic in 2013 and played 115 games for the club in the next three seasons, scoring fifteen goals in all competitions. His performances didn’t go unnoticed, with Southampton scooping the player in a £13.81 million deal.
- Victor Wanyama – The defensive midfielder joined Celtic in the summer of 2011 for £900,000, becoming the first player from Kenya to play in the Scottish Premier League. He spent two seasons at Celtic Park, scoring a total of 91 goals in all competitions, in addition to 13 assists. In July 2013, Wanyama inked a deal with the EPL club Southampton for a fee of £12.5 million.
Celtic academies would keep producing players for the top level
Celtic has a rich history of developing young players and continues to do so despite encountering numerous problems.
One of the biggest challenges the Glasgow side faces is the rise of its rival, Rangers, and the financial situation in the Scottish Premier League. Luckily, by selling its best players, Celtic has been able to draw and retain the most talented players in the country.
The club is committed to youth development, and its success directly depends on the ability to produce quality players. In addition to Scottish talents, Celtic has successfully attracted talented names outside Scotland, most notably Odsonne Edouard.
Celtic has plenty of options regarding its transfer plans for the summer, as a few could leave the club in solid transfer deals. Stephen Welsh has been a regular starter over the recent years but has struggled with form this season. The 23-year-old defender has attracted the attention of clubs from England, France, and Italy, and many believe he’ll leave Celtic Park soon. The move seems logical, and Celtic could cash in on the former Scotland U21 international.
Carl Starfelt is one to watch this summer. The Swedish defender has been drawing lots of attention, with several EPL clubs ready to make an offer. Celtic would like to keep one of its key players in the team, but a big-money offer could be very tempting.
Another player who could leave Celtic at the end of the season is the Swiss striker Albian Ajeti. According to the Wikipedia page showing Celtic records and statistics, he was the tenth most expensive signing in the club’s history. The former West Ham player didn’t meet the expectations and was sent on loan to Sturm Graz. Since his contract expires in 2024, the Bhoys will be looking to offload him for the right price.
In recent years, Celtic had several significant transfer fees, and Liel Abada couldn’t be the next one. The Israeli winger is only 21 years old but already one of the team’s leading stars. He has scored 12 goals and made seven assists this season. These stats are drawing the attention of clubs for the EPL, and a sizeable offer could quickly seal the deal and see him leave Celtic this summer.
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