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Celtic Willing To Waive Sell-On Fee In An Attempt To Sign This Full-back: Smart Business For Lennon?

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Nikhil Vinodh
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According to a recent report by The Athletic (Paid Subscription Required), Premiership giants Celtic are said to be keen on bringing back former Parkhead academy player Aaron Hickey. The Hearts man has impressed thoroughly in what was a difficult season for the club, and he’s said to be a name that would fit perfectly into the Hoops’ current transfer policy – bright young Scottish stars. The suspension of the league season means that Hearts have unfortunately been relegated (albeit hopes of them staying up through a legal matter has not been ruled out), which could present the champions an opportunity to try and lure the youngster away.

With the report clarifying that Celtic are keen on re-signing Aaron Hickey, a transfer could benefit both parties. The report suggests that Hearts’ relegation, added to the general lack of income owing to the ongoing pandemic, could bring the Scot’s asking price down even further. Despite this, it has been clarified that the Glasgow club are willing to waive the 30% sell-on fee that was formerly integrated into the youngster’s contract, seeing as to how they’re the ones signing him back.

What Is Celtic’s Current Situation In The Left-Back Position?

Neil Lennon’s side currently possesses two realistic options for the left-back role, but there have been various question marks raised about the overall quality of both of them. Boli Bolingoli didn’t play a game for the eventual champions since the defeat to Rangers at the end of 2019, while there have been visible concerns about Greg Taylor’s ability to perform as the first choice at such a massive club as well. The Celts were forced to ride their luck with the duo this season and attempting to do it again next time could mean trouble.

What Makes Aaron Hickey An Attractive Prospect For Celtic?

The youngster and the rest of his family have been Celtic supporters all their life, meaning that the club and the history are obviously very close to his heart. Moreover, having previously spent time at the Celtic Academy, there’s undoubtedly a special bond between the player and Celtic Park.

Celtic Are Keen On Re-Signing Aaron Hickey - Hickey vies for the ball against Celtic
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 25: James Forrest of Celtic shoots towards goal during the Scottish Cup Final match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 25, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The speedster is a left-back by position but has even been deployed at right-back over the course of his two-year first-team career. This season, the Scot has gone on to make a total of 22 appearances in the Premiership – a period during which he notched up a goal and an assist as well.

A willing runner with the ball at his feet, the diminutive speedster has the beating of the odd defender, while he’s also capable of delivering pinpoint crosses from wide areas. Adept at reading the play and making important interceptions in the final third, the 17-year-old offers good defensive positioning as well as composure. Moreover, the fact that he’s still a teenager will allow Neil Lennon’s coaching staff to mould him into the player they need. The left-back position has been a problem area for the Celts, and signing Hickey would certainly allow Lennon some breathing room.

Celtic Are Keen On Re-Signing Aaron Hickey: Smart Business For Neil Lennon?

The full-back has been one of the Hearts squad’s lone shining stars throughout the season, and the fact that he was able to maintain a healthy level of consistency at such a young age proves that he’s definitely headed for bigger things. There is also the presence of an obvious requirement at Celtic Park for a talented defender who would fit into Lennon’s attack-minded system. Given Hickey’s history with the Glasgow club and all the signs of quality he’s shown, it would be silly for Celtic to not at least attempt to snap him up in the summer window.

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