Pundit Noel Whelan believes that the signing of veteran Brighton striker, Glenn Murray, could be the difference between Celtic winning and losing the league title this season.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan claims it would be a good move all round if the Hoops are able to persuade the forward to move to Scotland from the south coast.
So what has Whelan said?
Whelan was asked if he thought that Murray and Celtic would be a good fit to which he replied:
“It could. He’s a goalscorer, he’s got a big appetite for the game, he’s fit, he’s ready to go”.
“I think we’ve seen that when Edouard is not in the side, they lack a presence, Glenn Murray would offer you that straight away. And I have no doubt that at that level he’ll score a bag full of goals for Celtic”.
“And that could be the difference to where the league title goes in Scotland”.
So is Whelan correct?
Neil Lennon has been open about Celtic looking to acquire support for Odsonne Edouard to shoulder some of the attacking burden, James Forrest and Ryan Christie have chipped in with more than their fair share of goals but the Frenchman has still been replied upon to lead the line on his own.
Leigh Griffiths and Vakoun Issouf Bayo have done little to support Edouard with Lennon’s patience appearing to be wearing thin with the pair, rumoured loan moves for Jordan Rhodes and Murray support the theory that he has little trust in them.
Murray may be in the twilight of his playing career but Hoops fans need only look across the city and to Jermain Defoe to see how much of an impact a veteran striker can make if they are managed properly, Rangers are able to rest their talisman, Alfredo Morelos, to the extent that he has played over 300 minutes less than Edouard in the league alone.
The Brighton forward may not be the quickest, but neither are most Scottish Premiership centre-halves, Celtic would have to adapt their style of play in a similar way to that of Rangers and Defoe but Murray’s strengths lie in bringing other players into the game in a different way to Edouard – Forrest and Christie would undoubtedly reap the benefits of this.
Murray wouldn’t be expected to produce the same numbers as Edouard but he would still be capable of chipping in with a goal or two and more importantly, leading the line in a way that would give the youngster a rest, keeping him fresh for the big occasions in the second half of the season.
Would Glenn Murray be a good short term option for Celtic?
Whelan is right, Murray would bring a presence to the Celtic attack that isn’t there when Edouard is missing, when such fine margins are separating the two Glasgow sides, that psychological lift could be the difference between winning and losing the league in itself.