According to the latest reports from the Scottish Sun, Neil Lennon has put former Celtic striker Gary Hooper on his transfer wishlist for the summer. However, the Northern Irish manager can only get his wish fulfilled if he is offered a permanent role at the club.
Hooper is currently a free agent after his stint with Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday. The striker played just five games in the league this season, and it is no surprise that the Owls decided to release him. However, the Englishman was a fan favourite during his time with the Hoops, and he won two Premiership titles with them.
The forward’s scoring record for the Bhoys was exceptional as Hooper had 82 goals to his name in just 137 appearances. The Englishman had the knack of scoring vital goals at crucial junctures, and there is no doubt in our mind that he must still be remembered fondly by the Celtic faithful.
The 31-year-old moved to Norwich City in 2013 and the striker never really got going in the Championship even with all his goal-scoring talents. Nevertheless, he could return to Scotland now that Lennon wants to have him back in the summer.
Is Hooper worth signing again?
First of all, the forward is going to be a no-risk move as he will join the club on a free transfer. At 31, he still has some years left in him. However, it would be interesting to see whether he would be as sharp as before as he hasn’t played much football for a year now.
Celtic does need a striker as Odsonne Edouard has been injury prone and Leigh Griffiths decided to take some time off football after December. He should be back ready for the next season, but the Hoops will lose Oliver Burke as his loan spell will expire. Burke filled in the striker’s role for two months around January and February. The Scotsman did a decent job, but his form fizzled out. It is unlikely that Celtic will look to sign him again in the summer.
Hooper can be a decent poacher to have in the squad, and his experience can make him a crucial player for the Bhoys. Therefore we feel that he is worth giving a one or two year contract. Hopefully from Celtic’s point of view, if they do offer him a deal, the striker gets up to the pace of football soon as he has been out in the wilderness for a long time now.