Celtic In Transfer Battle For The Signature Of This Full Back: Why Lennon Must Win The Race

Celtic Keeping Tabs On Aaron Hickey - Hickey points during a match
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 29: Aaron Hickey of Hearts celebrate at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Hearts and Rangers at Tynecastle Park on February 29, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, Premiership giants Celtic are said to be keeping tabs on the progress of prodigious Hearts full-back Aaron Hickey. The report suggests that the 17-year-old’s current contract with the recently relegated club is set to expire at the end of next season, which means that he could be lured away for the right price. Lennon is said to be ‘closely watching’ the youngster’s situation at Tynecastle Park.

The report suggests that Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Manchester City had also displayed an interest in the teenager, but that neither of them have put in a stern bid up until this point. Neil Lennon is said to be looking to strengthen his squad on the run-up to what could be a record-breaking season for the Hoops. A fee in the region of £1.5m was said to have been quoted by Hearts for the youngster’s signature this summer, although relegation could force them to reduce that price even further in the coming weeks.

Celtic Keeping Tabs On Aaron Hickey: What Is Celtic’s Current Left-Back Situation?

Compared to their Old Firm rivals Rangers, the Hoops’ left-back situation isn’t all that alarming, but Hickey’s former connection to Parkhead has turned out to be an absolute boon for Neil Lennon’s side. Their current options in the role include Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor, with the pair of them sharing the workload throughout the campaign. Both the Celtic left-backs have featured in exactly 14 Premiership games each this season, which then means that a player of Hickey’s quality would be able to compete for the slot.

How Has Hickey Made A Name For Himself?

The teenager spent most of his youth days with his current employers Hearts but spent an uneventful year at the Celtic youth system back in the summer of 2017. Having stayed at Parkhead for just a year, the youngster made the switch back to Hearts in July 2018.

Celtic Keeping Tabs On Aaron Hickey - Hickey looks on prematch
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Aaron Hickey of Heart of Midlothian is seen prior to the Betfred League Cup semi final between Rangers and Heart of Midlothian at Hampden Park on November 03, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Scot’s development into such a high-quality full-back arguably occurred in the two years since he’s moved back to his boyhood club, and the Celts will do well to sign him again this summer.

What Would He Bring To Parkhead?

The youngster is very observant about what goes on in the pitch as he’s able to cut out even the cleverest of opposition passes. The Scottish full-back tends to position himself exceptionally well while on the back-foot, while he showcases supreme composure in high-pressure situations too. Adept at bombarding forward with the ball at his feet, Hickey boasts a wide array of crossing talents, and it’s no surprise that the likes of Manchester City and Crystal Palace are also keen on the Hearts man.

Should Lennon Look To Sign Aaron Hickey Up? 

A new left-back isn’t necessarily the need of the hour at Parkhead this summer, despite which a move for young Hickey would make complete sense from a Celtic standpoint. At 17, the Scot offers excellent room for development, while he also possesses qualities that aren’t expected off a player of his age.

The Hearts man has proven this season that he’s got what it takes to succeed at the highest level, and when it comes to Celtic, the pathway to first-team football is clearer than what he would find at Manchester City or even Crystal Palace.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.