Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland’s goal against Hibernian today will likely see some call for his signing, but Celtic must hold fire.
Today was the striker’s big day. Nick Hammond watched him fire in a hat-trick against Partick last week (Scottish Sun). This afternoon it was Tosh McKinlay’s turn to give the Utd man a watch (Scottish Sun).
The game finished 2-2 with Shankland netting United’s first equaliser. Christian Doidge and Martin Boyle twice put Hibs into one-goal leads, but Shankland and Louis Appere goals meant that this Scottish Cup tie went to a replay.
First off, Shankland’s goal was terrific striker’s play. He weaved into the box to collect a through ball before shrugging off Paul Hanlon with his strength. After doing so, he took his time to pick his spot and slide below Ofir Marciano.
So he’s dispelled any myth that he can’t score against top Premiership teams. That’s one key box he can tick off, and the fact it came against a top-six side should also give him a boost.
Shankland didn’t show that he would be an improvement
He’ll be pleased with his goal, but if you’re talking about his 90-minute performance, it was nothing more than workmanlike. He gave as good as he got against Hanlon and Ryan Porteous, but the fact is he didn’t stand out.
Arguably, the best player on the pitch was former Celtic man Scott Allan. Once again he looked a cut above for the Hibees with some terrific passes from the midfield area. Even Florian Kamberi stood out more considering he had several close-calls. Hibs’ Martin Boyle also impressed.
If Celtic were looking for a reason to throw a bid in for Shankland today, they didn’t get one. We have to look beyond goals when it comes to a new striker acquisition. That’s exactly what we did with Patryk Klimala after all.
With Leigh Griffiths bagging a goal against Partick Thistle last night and also looking lively, it’ll be interesting to see if this affects our striker search. Neil Lennon’s response to whether he would continue to look for another forward this month was “maybe not” when quizzed before the weekend (Celtic Youtube).
Whether that means the manager is unsure on Shankland is anybody’s guess. However, you can likely bet that Lenny was watching the Scotland international in the game this afternoon. If he did, don’t expect Celtic to go rushing in with an offer anytime soon.
This was Shankland’s big chance to impress with his finishing and all-round play. Once again he succeeds with the former, but the latter didn’t look like anything too great. Let’s see how he does in the replay.