Celtic Have Won The Race For In-Demand French Sensation: Smart From The Hoops?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 13: Shane Duffy of Celtic celebrates with Greg Taylor, Patryk Klimala and Mohamed Elyounoussi after scoring their team's second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park on December 13, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With little hope left this season in terms of defending the coveted Premiership crown, the Hoops are gearing up for the upcoming campaign and have already identified names to bolster themselves in the long run. A pre-contract has been agreed for Sheffield Wednesday defender Liam Shaw and according to the Scottish Sun, Celtic are on the verge of tying down Thomas Robert.

Thomas, son of former France and Newcastle United star Laurent Robert, decided not to be in the shadow of his famous father and chose an unusual route when he left Montpellier’s academy ranks and joined Scottish third-tier side Airdrieonians F.C. last summer. Although the league got suspended last month due to COVID concerns, the French attacker earned the attention of the scouts for his impressive attacking display and versatility upfront.

A Great Career Move For The Youngster

While Rangers were also keen to tie Robert down, Celtic have won the race for the Diamonds star who is expected to join the camp and train at Lennoxtown in the coming days. 4 goals and 2 assists in 14 Airdrie appearances [stats via Transfermarket] depict his adaptability in overcoming the difficulties of the Scottish environment. The hard work seems to have paid off already with the champions set to offer him an opportunity to pursue his dreams and develop at one of Europe’s most prestigious footballing cities at the age of 20.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon in the dugout
PERTH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 14: Neil Lennon, Manager of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between St. Johnstone and Celtic at McDiarmid Park on February 14, 2021 in Perth, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

 “I always wanted to come to the UK because I love the way football is played. It’s tougher. My dad was very happy for me when I made the decision to come to Scotland and now I want to try to have a better career than he had. I knew nothing about Airdrie before I came but I understand now and I’m enjoying being here.”

Robert told the Sun back in November while discussing his future and as the things stand, the youngster has attained the first career objective three months later.

How He Might Help Celtic In The Long Run

Celtic, meanwhile, suffered all season due to James Forrest’s injury blow. Ryan Christie failed to step up and deliver from the flank whereas Mohamed Elyounoussi, on loan from Southampton, failed to earn a regular status. Marian Shved is no longer in Neil Lennon’s plans whereas Tom Rogic has been a shadow of his earlier self in recent months. David Turnbull has been the only shining light so far and the arrival of Robert might eventually rekindle the spark in the attacking third.

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