For a young talented player with only two years senior experience under his belt, Adam Matthews turned out to be a good acquisition for Celtic. Having signed him for nothing, retained his services for four years and sold him on for over £2M with a sell on clause, it is good business for the club.
Adam proved himself at right back, left back and on the right wing for Celtic. He played in some huge matches, scored goals, provided assists and even had a great pair of lungs!
The one thing holding him back was in proneness to injury. He isn’t the only Celtic player in the present day to be held back by such an issue but it was an issue.
It has been said that it was his desire to move on and not Celtic’s that brought about his transfer request and subsequent move to Sunderland. I see no reason to doubt that given that he has served us well and despite his injuries.
And it is was his injuries that were the only issue for me. His ability was more than enough to hold down a regular place.
If you are a manager and looking to make strides in Europe as Celtic always are then you need to be able to rely on your best players. The unfortunate thing for Celtic is that they haven’t always been able to rely upon Matthews, Lustig or even Forrest because of niggling injuries.
For Ronny Deila to even try to achieve his goal at Celtic, he needs to know the players he has at his disposal will be available for him. If there is a ‘cure’ for Lustig and Forrest then I see no reason for them to leave the club.
At the same time, the club are under no obligation to hold on to players who cannot fulfill their contract. I’m sure given maturity Matthews will overcome his injuries but he has been granted a transfer request and Celtic get something in return.
The young Welsh international has done his job for Celtic these last four years. 150 appearances and 5 goals later, he goes south with my blessing.
Good luck Adam in the rest of your career. You have a bright one ahead of you.
His departure makes more room on the right hand side for Darnell Fisher and new Bhoy Saidy Janko to compete for a place. Mikael Lustig will also compete for a place in the right back berth but as mentioned before, a solution to the Swede’s recurring injuries will make or break his Celtic career.
In the meantime, we have two young lads battling it out for a starting spot. With any luck, neither will have the injury issues either of their predecessors have had.
Celtic have also shipped out Paul McMullan (to St Mirren) and Michael Duffy (to Alloa Athletic) on loan. Both forwards will get invaluable experience playing in the Scottish Championship against Hibernian and Rangers as well as each other.
There is lots of movement for Celtic right now and things are shaping up nicely as Ronny Deila begins to make this team look more and more like his own. I expect more changes in the days and weeks ahead but today, it is back to the preseason schedule with the second of three matches at St Mirren Park.
FK Dukla Prague are today’s visitors and it’s another opportunity to see how preparations for the Champions League qualifiers are going. Today I hope to see new Bhoy Janko in at right back and those who never featured midweek to get some game time.