According to the reports from the Sun, Crystal Palace will outbid Celtic for Hearts’ talent Aaron Hickey. The Eagles are willing to buy the left-back and then loan him back to the Tynecastle club until the summer. Hickey is being valued at around £1.5m. Celtic are reportedly not keen to match that kind of an asking price for the 17-year-old.
Hickey has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool as well. The Scottish fullback is seen as a significant talent, and as things stand, it seems like Selhurst park will be his likely destination. Hickey is a former Celtic youth prospect, and the fullback is known as a lifelong Celtic fan.
The Hoops are entitled to get 30 percent of the profit which Hearts make if Hickey goes on to leave them. The versatile fullback had a breakthrough campaign last season under Craig Levein. This season, he has managed to establish himself in Hearts’ setup as he has made 25 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal in the process.
Does Celtic need left-back?
Lennon had brought in Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and Greg Taylor in the summer of 2019. Bolingoli is 24 and Taylor is 22, so both of them are young and have room for improvement to their game. Jonny Hayes is also a decent alternative, but he isn’t going to be around for long.
Nevertheless, we don’t see the need for Celtic to bring in another young and upcoming fullback like Hickey. The Scottish youngster is indeed seen as a top talent, but the young gun is likely to find it hard to break into Celtic’s team for now.
The 17-year-old is an attack-minded fullback, and he can play at right-back and in midfield as well. Hickey shows good confidence on the ball, and he can keep the ball under pressure. He is far from a finished product, but with Premier League heavyweights also chasing him, that is a testament to his talent.
A blow for Celtic?
Crystal Palace can probably offer Hickey a better financial deal than Celtic, and they are also willing to loan him back to Hearts for the rest of the season. Losing out on him wouldn’t be a big blow for the Hoops as they are well covered in the left-back department. However, if Hickey goes on to become a world-beater in the future, then Celtic might rue the opportunity of missing out on him now.
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