Celtic’s biggest strength since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou has arguably been their ability to recognise and sign players, who fit into the system that the manager is trying to get his side to play. That played a massive part in the Hoops’ turning their fortunes around so quickly and winning a Premiership and League Cup double last season, against all expectations.
One of the best signings that Celtic have made under the management of Postecoglou is that of Matt O’Riley, from MK Dons, in January.
Interestingly, he did not appear to be the club’s first-choice target. Instead, they had been linked with Australian international, Riley McGree, who had appeared to have been closing in on a Parkhead move. But instead, he ended up at Middlesbrough and Celtic swooped in for O’Riley instead.
O’Riley has been incredible impressive since his arrival and many believe that he is the long-term successor to Tom Rogic, who left at the end of last season. John Hartson has even compared him to Leicester City star, James Maddison. As reported by Football Scotland, he told Go Radio:
“I think Celtic would look at it for £50m. Is Maddison better than O’Riley?
“He’s improved a lot since he was at Aberdeen but now he’s at Leicester in the Premier League does that make him worth 10 times what playing in the Scottish Premiership does?
“O’Riley is massive to Ange Postecoglou and Celtic’s plans going forward.
“I’m just making a point that if O’Riley is £4m or £5m, what makes Maddison £50m?
“It’s only because it’s Newcastle and everyone knows they have serious amounts of money and they might well pay £50m for him.”
The Celtic hero further added:
“Celtic don’t need to take the money. I’m not saying £50m for him but you’re looking at £18m or £20m.
“Matt O’Riley is different class and he’s going to get better. He’s a wonderful player.”
Hartson compares Celtic star to Maddison
Now, one has to admit that Maddison has been very good for Leicester City in the Premier League and played a key part in their successes in recent years.
He was on loan at Aberdeen, when he was around the same age as O’Riley is now, and it must be said that the Danish youth international has looked better when compared with that stint.
Interestingly, O’Riley’s future at Celtic could very well depend on what happens with Maddison this summer, who is being heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United.
Leicester City are believed to hold an interest in O’Riley and if Maddison was to depart, it would not be a surprise to see Brendan Rodgers’ side try to sign the Celtic star as his replacement.
This article was originally posted here