Celtic have finally managed to rope in their first signing of the season in Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes as per reports, who has joined the Hoops for an undisclosed fee. Brendan Rodgers has been getting ready for a stormy transfer season when most of his last season’s stars would be targeted, and Hayes looks like a precautionary measure.
Archrivals Rangers FC have already made a strong statement by completing five signings within a month of the season end and Celtic knows their overachievement in the last season would put immense pressure on them for the next term. Rodgers managed to go the entire season without losing a game keeping a massive 30-point gap between them and second-placed Aberdeen.
Hence, not only will the former Liverpool manager have to start their Champions League strongly, but also has to see off their rivals, who have now become more determined than ever, to break their invincible stature.
Rodgers hardly had a problem getting goals last season, as the likes of Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths made sure that the score sheet kept ticking. And failing to retain them next summer would be a huge setback for the club. The likes of Dembele and Griffiths have already started garnering interests from outside, and Celtic can do little to keep them.
Getting Hayes, on the other hand, was an easy task for the Bhoys. Given their stature in the Scottish Premiership, hardly any player would spur a chance to join Celtic and Hayes was no different. The 29-year-old Irish international had a brilliant season with Aberdeen, where he scored 11 times and registered a whopping 24 assists in all competitions for them.
A right midfielder by nature, he is not that strong from the centre and prefers to tread on the wide areas. Having good pace and impeccable crossing abilities, Celtic have got themselves an experienced player, who has probably made the last major move in his professional career.
An academy product of Reading FC, Hayes has spent most of his playing career on loan stints with different sides. He was sent to fifth-tier Forest Green Rovers and third-tier Milton Keynes Dons in his initial days, which was followed by a free transfer to Leicester City.
The Foxes further forwarded him to third-tier Northampton Town and fourth-tier Cheltenham Town, before he was released by them and Scottish side Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC bought him. It was here that he finally found his form getting directly involved in 61 goals over three seasons, and Aberdeen picked him up in 2012.
He has since then scored 30 goals and assisted 71 times for them, which finally earned him a national call-up in 2016.
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