Celtic great Frank McAvennie has encouraged Lawrence Shankland to choose England over Celtic, should he have that decision to make.
The Hoops reportedly scouted the striker several times in recent months (Scottish Sun). However, the January transfer window came and went without the club putting a bid in for Shankland.
His form this season has been immense though. He’s bagged 26 goals in 26 appearances this term, albeit whilst playing in the Championship (Transfermarkt). He’s also in high demand too by the looks of things. The Courier reported in last January that Shankland had been looked at by 22 other scouts in a single game.
And, speaking about a potential move in the future, McAvennie claimed in the Courier that Shankland should head to England over Celtic:
“He’s got to go to England and I’d love him at West Ham. Rangers and Celtic want him but I’d tell him to go to England. We’ve got guys like Andy Robertson, John Fleck, John McGinn and Ryan Fraser doing really well down south, Shankland is the next one.
“If he does go to England, I hope he gets a running coach and does more sprints. He’d be working with the top sports scientists and top-class conditioning coaches.
“Rangers and Celtic want him but if he goes down south and it doesn’t work out, he can come back to one of the Old Firm.”
A move to Celtic won’t just come when Shankland feels like it
There are enough question marks over whether he could cope at Celtic now, nevermind if he was to go down to England and be a failure. It’s disappointing to hear McAvennie state that England would be a better platform for him.
McAvennie, most known for his contribution in the centenary season of 1997-1998, also played for West Ham in two different spells. Therefore, you can understand why he has such an affiliation with them.
However, where we take exception is this idea that Shankland can go down south, be a failure, and just jump right back up to Parkhead. That isn’t the kind of signing we should be after should Shankland fail to make a name for himself.
McAvennie may also be underestimating just how much his game could regress if he isn’t playing either. If Shankland spends a year or two out of first-team squads and then Celtic were to sign him, it could take a long time for him to get his mojo back.
If Shankland has the chance to go to Celtic this summer, then that should be the only time he gets the chance. It’s not an offer that should just get thrown around.
In any case, we’ll see if the Hoops even make a move at the end of the season. With the club currently holding four strikers just now, there’s no urgent need to bring him in.