Busquets? Former Celtic youngster Aaron Hickey earns high praise

By John McGinley

January 12, 2020

Former Celtic youth talent Aaron Hickey has earned enormous praise from Hearts man Austin MacPhee, who has compared the teenager to Jonny Evans and Sergio Busquets, as reported by The Scottish Sun.

Hickey trained with Celtic’s youth sides before eventually making a switch back to Hearts after reportedly rejecting professional terms at the Hoops.

Instead of receiving a compensation fee, it’s been reported by The Scottish Sun in recent months that we opted to insert a 30% sell-on clause into the agreement.

Hickey has had a sharp rise at Hearts, making 24 appearances this season despite being still just 17.

He can play in a variety of positions and now MacPhee, who worked closely with him as a coach, has drawn comparisons with two elite players.

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As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “He’s so young he could play a lot of positions. He could end up being like Busquets.

“Right now he reminds me of Jonny Evans, who I’ve seen in training with Northern Ireland. It’s the way he defends, moves and always wants the ball as a defender.

“Jonny spent some of his career at left-back, centre-back and defensive midfield. It will be interesting to see where Aaron ends up but he’s a young player I would hang my hat on. He’s tall enough to play at centre-back too.”

Former Celtic youngster Aaron Hickey / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hype will only help Celtic

MacPhee’s comments are strong and you might be scratching your head at what he’s saying considering Hickey’s lack of experience, but clearly having spent a lot of time with the youngster, the behind-the-scenes man at Tynecastle sees big things in the defender’s future.

Any hype will only be a benefit to Celtic with that 30% sell-on fee looming.

Big cash-rich teams like Manchester City have already been credited with an interest (The Daily Mail), so as long as Hearts keep talking him up and he keeps making starts, his value will increase too.

One day that could result in a fairly significant cash bonus for the Scottish champions.