Celtic sign Steven Fletcher. That’s something fans would’ve love to have heard back in 2009.
Back when Fletcher was a real threat, in the peak of his career and thriving in Scotland, Celtic could’ve used him. That infamous January transfer window of 2009 frustrated many at Parkhead. To this day it’s a period that supremely angers the Hoops faithful.
Many believe that just by signing Fletcher from Hibs, Celtic would’ve had enough to win the league. It’s become the deal that never was in a sense, but fast forward a decade and it should certainly stay that way.
Fletcher’s renaissance with Scotland has thrown up the idea he could come to Celtic. The unfortunate thing is, however, the deal would be 10 years too late.
Sure, Celtic could do with a high-quality third striker in January. Fletcher, however, isn’t the player now that Celtic were interested in back in 2009.
During his time at Wednesday, Fletcher has hit 17 goals in nearly 80 appearances. If Celtic are looking for a third striker to help with the goal-burden, Fletcher certainly isn’t it. Don’t be fooled by his penalty against Albania, this isn’t the man Celtic need if they’re to make an impact in Europe and run away from the rest.
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Not the influence he would’ve hoped to be
Since leaving Hibs, he hasn’t had the impact down south that he would’ve hoped. He’s scored some big goals for the likes of Burnley, Wolves, and Sunderland, but he’s never kicked on. If anything, the big forward has regressed.
He’s slow on the ball, not as mobile as he used to be, and also nowhere near as sharp to cross-balls. Considering the type of game Celtic like to play, Fletcher wouldn’t be suited to it at all.
It was different under Gordon Strachan back in 2009. Strachan liked the long-ball game, often using Gary Caldwell and Stephen McManus to hoof it forward. Fletcher would’ve thrived alongside Scott McDonald with his height, and at the time it was a good decision.
Look, however, at the work Odsonne Edouard has to do outside of the box these days. Linking up the play and using quick train of thought isn’t suited to Fletcher’s game. He often needs the ball played to feet, and would seriously slow down Celtic’s attacking movement.
This is a deal that should’ve been done a long time ago, but it’s nowhere near a case of better late than never.