Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, you won’t have missed the debate surrounding Celtic’s failed move for former Hibernian midfielder John McGinn, who confirmed his transfer to Aston Villa on Wednesday.
The English Championship side netted him for a reported fee of £2.8m after a lengthy pursuit from the Hoops to bring him to Celtic Park.
Not only have we missed out on a player that could add depth and competition to the central midfield area, failing to sign the player has also caused controversy regarding the Celtic’s board ambition and ability to go out and sign players Brendan Rodgers wants to bring to the club.
Rodgers has been a long-time admirer of the Scotland international, speaking as early as February 2017 about the player’s ability after watching him compete in an Edinburgh derby.
Back then, the Hoops boss told The Scottish Sun:
He’s very good. He looks like the type of player you love as a manager. I’d heard a wee bit about him without seeing a great deal of him myself.
But he is very industrious and looks a great lad. He knows the game, you can see that with the way he fills in positions. Defensively he’s strong, he puts his foot in and can make a tackle.
He doesn’t oversell himself, he’s technically very good when he tackles. Tactically he looks like he’s got a good understanding of the game.
He passes it well and had a couple of good moments in the game when he moved into the box. He was a real driving force for them.
Debate about McGinn’s ability aside, many fans do not rate him, what matters in this scenario is that Rodgers admired him and has done for a long time, Rodgers wanted him this summer and the club failed to deliver him despite multiple offers.
Not signing the midfielder can only be seen as a mistake by the deal makers at Celtic Park.
Further still, given the manager’s lengthy comments in recent days about the club’s lack of transfer activity this summer, the failure to sign John McGinn may have deeper repercussions at Celtic than the absence of the midfielder’s presence in the squad.
Rodgers is not a happy man and hasn’t been afraid to say so.
The obvious allusions to unhappiness with transfer inaction at press conferences may be seen by many as unhelpful, but Rodgers is clearly leveraging his influence to try and do what he sees as best for his first team squad in the final few weeks of the transfer window.
He’s never said anything by mistake or without purpose to the Scottish press.
The whole situation feels like a massive own goal and the last thing we need at the most critical time of the season when tens of millions of pounds are on the line in European qualifiers.
Ultimately this transfer window will be judged on September 1st so despite the discussion and drama of the last few days, we must remain patient as supporters and see what the club can do in the final few weeks of the transfer window.
What’s clear though is that Rodgers isn’t going to settle for second best and personally, discontent or not, that’s exactly what I want from a Celtic manager.
What are your thoughts on the transfer drama at Celtic this week? Let us know in the comments…