Former Celtic right-back Adam Matthews has been touching on his “weird” Parkhead exit back in 2015.
The Welsh international had initially been signed by the club back in 2011, spending four years in Glasgow and making a total of 150 appearances (Transfermarkt).
Matthews was a favourite of Neil Lennon’s during his first spell as manager. However, his surprise move to Sunderland in July 2015 was one of the more head-scratching decisions made during that period, with Ronny Deila the manager at that stage.
It seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere, with Celtic only bagging a paltry £2million for a player who had played a key role in six trophy wins and was only 23 at the time (BBC).
And Matthews has finally opened up on the process involved in his Parkhead goodbye. Speaking to Open Goal, the right-back explained exactly what happened:
“It was a bit weird really. My agent said there was interest from Sunderland. I said, ‘Okay, speak to them, see what they’re saying’. I left training, came home, fell asleep on the sofa with the TV on.
“Woke up about four o’clock to ten missed calls from my agent. Sky Sports News was on, I just saw ‘Celtic have agreed £2 million bid for Adam Matthews’. I was like ‘Jesus’, so I rang my agent.
“I swear down I fell asleep. I must have had about 14 missed calls from my agent. I rang him, he was like ‘Sunderland want you down tonight to sign’. I jumped in the car, drove, met my agent at Sunderland, and that’s how quick it was. I didn’t really have time to think about it, to be honest.”
Matthews appeared to want something different
At the time Matthews departed, he left with only one year remaining on his deal. It appeared as though Celtic simply couldn’t get him to sign a new one.
That theory was backed up further when Deila said he “wanted to try something else” after the Sunderland switch was announced (BBC). Regardless, Matthews could’ve been remembered greatly here and perhaps even be a main part of our nine-in-a-row success.
Since he left the club, Matthews has only played one match in the Premier League. That came all the way back in 2015 – one month after he left Celtic Park. Since then, he’s only ever managed to be a regular in the Championship as promotion has escaped his clutches.
These days, the Welshman is operating at League One level with Charlton Athletic. It’s not quite where you would’ve imagined Matthews playing at his peak years. His time at Celtic suggested he was set for much greater things.
This is a departure I’ll always personally look back on and have some regret over. Matthews’ career could’ve shot to glory had he stayed in Glasgow for another few years at least.
Regardless, he’s made a decent career for himself down in England. Even if it never really blossomed the way we all would’ve hoped – you can’t take that away from him at least.