Ex Celtic Target Opens Up On Rejecting Parkhead Switch: He Could Have Been A Perfect Fit For Lennon

Neil Lennon, Manager of Celtic gives a thumbs up after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between FC Kobenhavn and Celtic FC at Telia Parken on February 20, 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Amid all the uncertainties over the conclusion of the current campaign, teams across the globe are steadily making their moves in an attempt to strengthen themselves for the upcoming term. However, Celtic, despite being the clear frontrunners to conquer the ninth successive Premiership glory before the COVID-19 outbreak, are sweating over the future of Odsonne Edouard due to the growing popularity of the high-flying Frenchman.

Although the resurgence of Leigh Griffiths must be a welcome boost for Neil Lennon, the Hoops would struggle to find an able alternative of Edouard unless they manage to keep hold of their prolific ‘number 9’ beyond the summer window. Vakoun Issouf Bayo seems to have no future at Parkhead whereas Patryk Klimala, their winter signing, has not exhibited enough in his limited appearances.

One player, meanwhile, could have been a success in Scotland considering his initial impression at Sporting CP following a January transfer. Andraž Šporar was one of Celtic’s prime targets for weeks, but a move failed to materialize eventually as the Slovenian plied his trades to Portugal instead.

The 26-year-old has recently opened up on his decision to join the Green and Whites snubbing the Bhoys.

Sporting’s Slovak forward Andraz Sporar celebrates after scoring during the Europa League round of 32 football match between Sporting CP and Istanbul Basaksehir FK at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on February 20, 2020. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

“I gave Hugo Viana my word I would sign for Sporting. I had other offers – most noticeably from Celtic. I kept in touch with Celtic all the way through January and my agent also spoke to other clubs too. I wanted to sign for Sporting from the start and I was delighted when they closed the transfer.”

Revealed Sporar (as quoted by the Daily Record) who has fired in thrice so far for the Lisbon giants in nine appearances altogether (stats via Transfermarket).

Why He Could Have Been a Perfect Fit At Celtic

Stats do not depict the accurate picture every time. The same stands true for Sporar too as his on-field contribution should not be measured by the number of goals he has scored since joining the Primeira Liga hotshots. Not only did he adjust to the new surroundings instantly but also secured a starting role in the absence of Luiz Phellype who suffered severe ligament damage against Marítimo in late January.

Sporar has been exquisite in Europe this season as he showcased his great poaching instincts while operating inside the box. He netted 23 times this term in 35 appearances (including the spell with  Slovan Bratislava before leaving for Lisbon) which is as good as Edouard’s 27 in 45 outings (stats via Transfermarket).

While the influence of the latter at Parkhead is indisputable, the Slovenian had all the attributes to match that standard in due time similar to Edouard’s uprise since Moussa Dembele’s egress.

A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.