It’s getting to that time of the year already and one of Celtic’s most sought-after summer targets could be back on the club’s agenda once again.
Alfie Doughty was the subject of heavy interest from the Hoops in the summer. The club had several bids dismissed for the youngster, with Charlton boss Lee Bowyer slamming the club for “silly offers”. Bids of around £400k and £600k were reportedly made for the winger (Glasgow Times).
However, whilst Celtic could snap him up on a pre-contract for 2021, if they play their cards right then they could ensure that Doughty has played his last game for the Addicks.
The winger still hasn’t signed a new contract, and recently suffered a hamstring tear that’s going to keep him out for months according to Bowyer via BBC reporter Louis Mendez.
It stands to reason then if Celtic come in with an acceptable offer in January, then they could nab Doughty before he’s had the chance to make another appearance for the League One side.
And why would Charlton change their mind? Well, he’s out for the medium-term by the looks of things. Why keep hold of Doughty if he isn’t going to be fit for months and therefore wouldn’t be able to really affect their promotion chase?
Granted, if he was tied up for the long-term then that would be fair enough, but January represents the final opportunity for the London-based club to rake in a fee for him. Why pay his wages for a few months if he isn’t going to ever make a decent impact for your club again?
Why should we sign an injured player? It’s better in the long-term
Yes, you can flip it. Why should Celtic take him now as opposed to on a pre-contract if he isn’t going to be fit from the moment we sign him.
Firstly, it would guarantee that he’ll be a Celtic player. Remember, the Hoops weren’t the only club interested in him, and other rivals could sniff an opportunity with the player currently injured. Luton, for example, also had an offer rejected for his services (The Herald). Making a move in January would ensure we’re not beaten to the punch.
Secondly, it gives Doughty the chance to get used to Glasgow and the atmosphere around the club instead of being thrown in during a hectic summer and being forced to perform consistently.
Doughty hasn’t played for anyone that comes to close to Celtic’s size. It will be a culture shock for him – that’s almost certain. A bedding in period would be better for him in the long-term, and spending his recovery time in Glasgow would be more beneficial to us.
Of course, Charlton won’t just accept anything. If there’s interest then they’ll still want to drum up his valuation, but there’s only so far they can go given he can sign elsewhere for nothing.
Celtic are in a strong position regarding Doughty, and look almost certain to snap him up on a pre-contract. But if we play our cards right, we can secure a better move and have him in Glasgow at the start of 2021.