Celtic have maintained their supremacy in Scotland almost exclusively throughout the past decade. They are currently on a ‘ten in a row’ mission despite Rangers’ resurgence and one player, who narrowly missed out on being a part of this golden era, has revealed his desire of representing his boyhood club before calling it a day.
Johnny Russell was roped in by Derby County for £650,000 back in the summer of 2013. The Hoops were also keen to secure his services, but the fee offered by the Rams was more than Celtic’s valuation. Dundee United agreed on terms with the Championship outfit whom the Scotsman represented 162 times before plying his trade to the United States to join Sporting Kansas City in MLS.
“Throughout my career, I always hoped it would happen. It hasn’t happened yet, hopefully it does at some point. I grew up dreaming of that. I’m happy where I am, but I’m a Celtic fan. The season I went to Derby there was a bid made but Derby offered more, so there was never a choice.”
Russell told BBC Scotland in a recent interview. His contract with the Wizards runs out in 12 months, and the versatile forward might become a quality addition for the Bhoys if they rope him in on a Bosman transfer.
Why It Would Be A Shrewd Move
At 29, the Scotland international would inject experience as well as excellence in the attacking third. Predominantly a right-winger, Russell is capable enough of operating from the opposite flank, as a ‘number 10’ or centre-forward. Celtic might have to reshuffle their attacking third next year amid growing interest in Odsonne Edouard from the big guns of Europe.
Mohamed Elyounoussi, on loan from Southampton, is adjusting to life at Parkhead. However, it is still unclear whether the deal would be made permanent upon completion of the current campaign. Mikey Johnston, Marian Shved and Lewis Morgan are promising young prospects but are yet to impress enough to secure a starting role week in week out down the wide areas. Outcast Scott Sinclair and Jonny Hayes are in their 30s, and therefore, the Hoops should consider Russell as an option to add value alongside James Forrest.
What Russell Would Bring In At Celtic
The attacker scored his maiden international goal earlier this year against San Marino and has exhibited his exquisite crossing and set-piece attributes over the years. He is a traditional wing forward who would thrive under Neil Lennon and his vision, shooting, range of passing as well as creativity must be utilised considering his keenness to join the club whom he has supported all his life.
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