Aiden McGeady "would've loved" Celtic return; explains why he decided against it

By David Walton

May 22, 2022

Former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has stated that he “would’ve loved” a return to Parkhead as he explained why he rejected it during the Ronny Deila days.

McGeady came through the Hoops’ academy back in 2004 before going on to make 220 appearances for his boyhood team [Transfermarkt]. McGeady was a huge fans-favourite during his 6 years in the first-team, racking up 35 goals and 48 assists overall.

It all ended with a then record-breaking move to Spartak Moscow back in 2010 before Aiden moved back to the UK with Everton. Over the last 6 years, he’s spent time in the English lower leagues and yesterday secured promotion to the Championship with Sunderland.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

But McGeady has told the BBC that he really wanted a return to Celtic, just not at the time in which the opportunity came about:

“When I was at Everton, I had the chance to go back. At the time, I was probably being fed things by the manager that I was eventually going to play more often, plus I did think ‘if I go back now, that’s me almost turning my back on England’. I still thought deep down ‘I can play here’.

“The circumstances just weren’t quite right. Ronnie Deila was the manager, I was looking at the team and the way they were playing and I thought ‘I’m not really sure I want to go back just yet’.

“Obviously I would’ve loved to have gone back at another time, when it was right for everybody, but that opportunity never came up again. I regret that it meant I didn’t get to play for Celtic again, but at the time, no.”

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Aiden McGeady to Celtic would’ve been a fascinating reunion

There was certainly a period in Aiden’s career when Celtic fans would’ve welcomed him back into the team with open arms. When you look back to Deila’s second year in charge, for example, it would’ve been a huge boost to see Aiden come back midway through the season or so. What a boost that would’ve given us.

In the end it didn’t happen. But it’s clear McGeady always had a Parkhead return in mind. Most likely as far back as when he first left. He would’ve thought at the time he left for Moscow that he would’ve returned one day in a playing capacity.

McGeady admitted as recently as 2020 that he wanted to come back to the club. But in the end, it simply didn’t happen. It was never likely that late in the game either given how far his stock had dropped.

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

It’ll be interesting to see if Aiden does actually return to Celtic in a coaching capacity of some sort in the future. It’s a shame we didn’t see him make a return as a player in truth. There was always a feeling he had unfinished business here.

But it is what it is. McGeady has carved out a fine career for himself in England’s lower leagues and he’ll now be on the lookout for his next venture. With 92 caps at international level, he’ll feel more than pleased with what he achieved in his career [Transfermarkt]. And at only 36 years of age, there’s still room for him to keep on playing.

We wish him all the best wherever he ends up next.

In other news, David Turnbull fully over injury woe as he sets sights on big impact next season