Celtic target Alfie Doughty still appears to be nowhere near a return to first-team action as the new year window opens.
Doughty was the subject of multiple failed bids from the Hoops in the summer. This led to Charlton boss Lee Bowyer calling them “silly offers” as he had a real pop at the Scottish champions (Glasgow Times).
Since then, Doughty has picked up a nasty hamstring injury that has kept him out since October. As we trickle into the new year, the Englishman has still to return and doesn’t appear to be ready to do so anytime soon.
Speaking to London News Online, Charlton boss Bowyer confirmed Doughty is still some way away yet.
“We have lost Alfie Doughty and he is still a little bit off yet. So we have lost that little bit of pace to break on teams. When Alfie was playing we had that little bit of a weapon and we no longer have that available.”
Several months on and Doughty remains out
You would’ve hoped by now that there would’ve been some shoots of recovery. Perhaps he would’ve been back on the grass or taking part in some light training. But there’s been no news of that.
And the reason that’s important to Celtic is because we’re still reportedly interested (Glasgow Times). It was disclosed during the summer that the Hoops were potentially eyeing up a pre-contract.
But in order to jump ahead of the competition, a club could invest in him now. This is Charlton’s last chance to rake in any type of fee for him. So, in theory, they would surely rather lose him for some cash than keep him for a few months more.
Especially considering Doughty isn’t back for some time. Chances are he won’t play a lot this season if at all then. The only reason it would be worth Charlton keeping hold of him is if they believe he’ll sign a new contract. There’s no sign of that so far.
So Celtic have a chance to take advantage if we so wish. But fans would need to understand that, should we sign Doughty now, it won’t be one for the immediate future.
For many, the immediate future is all that matters too.