Former Celtic striker and BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton has once again called out England for their poor valuation of Scottish football players.
In recent years, the Hoops have sold some of their prized assets to the English Premier League. However, seldom has it been for their true value.
Stuart Armstrong left for Southampton for £7million (BBC), whilst Virgil Van Dijk signed for the same club for a now ridiculous £13m (BBC). Most recently, John McGinn left Hibs to join Aston Villa for a paltry £2m (The Telegraph).
Sutton initially called out English football on social media after former Celt Moussa Dembele bagged a brace for Lyon to knock Manchester City out of the Champions League. And using his Daily Mail column, the ex-Hoops striker has taken aim again.
“Saturday was another example of a player having an impact in Europe after time spent north of the border. Moussa Dembele’s goals crushed City and he honed his skills in the green and white of Celtic. He was signed from Fulham for £500,000 in 2016, sold to Lyon for £19.7million two years later, and now we’re seeing him linked with Chelsea and Manchester United for as much as £60m. Why not make a move for him before?
“Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how the Scottish game is viewed. The biggest example, of course, is Virgil van Dijk. Then there’s Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn.
“This dismissive attitude towards Scottish football needs to go. It’s astounding what it takes for the Premier League’s big clubs to take these players seriously. They keep making the same mistakes over and over.”
Big-money departures is a two-way street
It’s fine to go calling out the Premier League clubs for how much it takes for them to take Scottish players seriously. Especially when you consider how many Scottish Premiership players have easily cut it in England’s top league.
However, at the same time, it works both ways. You can talk about McGinn being sold for £2m, but Hibs hardly dug their heels in. Unless it was Celtic who were offering them money of course.
The same goes for Celtic with regards to allowing the likes of Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama, and Van Dijk to leave. Yes, England was the next step in those players’ respective development paths, but Celtic are rich enough not to be underpaid for their top stars.
Sutton mentions Tierney here, but in fairness to the Hoops, the club did well to squeeze £25m for him. Especially considering he was undergoing rehab for an operation at the time.
Generally, however, Scottish clubs are too quick to sell to England. Losing your top stars for lower than their valuation isn’t anything to brag about.
Yet there is a chink of light that this is about to change. The Telegraph has reported that Celtic have slapped a £40m valuation on Odsonne Edouard.
Hopefully, the Hoops (and perhaps even the rest of Scottish football) have had enough of being lowballed.
In other news, Tottenham Hotspur look set to sign an experienced veteran previously linked with Celtic.