Celtic summer transfer target admits he thinks of Glasgow; now thriving in top league

By Euan Davidson

November 27, 2021

Celtic summer target Aaron Hickey, now of Bologna in Serie A, admits he still thinks about a return to Glasgow.

Hickey, once of the Celtic Academy, made a move to Hearts as a younger. There, he shone on either side of the defence, with his versatility and precocious talents attracting scouts across Europe.

Although he had offers from Manchester City and Bayern Munich [Guardian], Serie A held the most allure. Celtic threw Bologna a £3.5m bid in the summer, according to the Sun, but it wasn’t enough to secure the young Scotsman.

Photo by Ettore Griffoni/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hickey’s unorthodox choice, in the face of offers from his favourite club and two European giants, may have looked strange. But he’s thriving under Sinisa Mihajlovic in Northern Italy.

Thus far, he’s started in every available game in Serie A, even popping up with two goals [Transfermarkt]. That doesn’t stop him thinking of Glasgow, but he’s happy where he is.

In an interview with the Guardian, Hickey said:

“My pals all have jobs or are at college. They are living at home. One plays for Queen’s Park. It’s all very different. I don’t know whether they are jealous of me or not. They’d never let me know if they are.

“Sometimes I think it would be good to stay in Glasgow all the time again but when I get back out here, it’s fine. I miss my family and friends but I enjoy it out here, living by myself.” 

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Celtic fans may bemoan lost opportunity with Aaron Hickey, but he’s happy where he is for now

On a footballing level, we absolutely missed out on Aaron Hickey. He looks to be developing into a real quality player over in Serie A. Like Liam Henderson before him, he made a brave decision and has been rewarded for it.

Before long, bigger European names will come calling. A la Andrew Robertson, another former Celtic Academy player, it may be a case of “What if?”.

But on a human level, it’s impossible to begrudge Hickey his success in Serie A. He’s enjoying himself and making the most out of a great opportunity.

Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ultimately, Bologna and Celtic couldn’t agree a fee anyway, so it’s a moot point as to whether he’d have come to us or not.

Could Celtic have used the Scottish youngster? Almost certainly, yes. With Greg Taylor being injured, there’s a parallel universe where Hickey is absolutely thriving on the left of defence. Or, Ralston doesn’t make the improvements he’s made, and Hickey’s on the right.

But that’s pointless to discuss. Perhaps one day, Hickey will come back to Glasgow. At the time of writing it’s cold and damp here; a far cry from the climes of Northern Italy.

Never say never. For now, though, both Hickey and Celtic have moved on.

Read more: Chris Sutton demands Celtic action from Michael Nicholson and company