Ghana international explains how close he once was to joining Celtic

By David Walton

March 28, 2022

Ganaian international Patrick Twumasi has opened up on how close he was to joining Celtic after a Champions League meeting against his old club Astana.

Twumasi caused Celtic mayhem back in their 2017/18 UCL qualifying match. Despite being destroyed 5-0 at Celtic Park, the Kazakh side put up a tremendous fight on their own turf. Twumasi was at the centre of it with 2 goals as he added some creative flair and pace into the contest to have some Celtic fans worried.

In the end, their 4-3 win wouldn’t be enough despite holding a 4-1 lead on the night. And apparently, the game then led to Rodgers giving Twumasi a call in a bid to get him to join the Hoops.

Photo by Bruno Barros / DPI / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ultimately, the move fell through and Twumasi joined Alaves in Spain instead. And as he reflected on the transfer move via Israeli outlet ONE, the player said: “I played twice against Celtic for Astana in the Champions League. The Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers, called me up personally which was a great honour.

“He told me, ‘Patrick, come to Celtic and you will have a great career. I love the way you play and you would be a great success at the club.’ But my family and agent recommended I go to Spain instead. They said that even though Alaves were a far smaller club, the exposure given to Spanish football was much more than in Scotland. Sometimes football is business.

“Looking back, I completely regret not taking up the offer from Celtic. I sent coach Rodgers a message to apologise and I admitted to him I made the wrong decision. He told me he respected me and if I wanted to come to Celtic again in the future, we could arrange it. But it never happened.”

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Patrick Twumasi’s stock has fallen rapidly since Celtic rejection

At the time Celtic face Astana in that UCL qualifier, Twumasi was 23 and looked like having the world at his feet. It was clear he was ready for a step-up. Especially considering he racked up 63 goals to his name and 29 assists in 159 appearances [Transfermarkt].

But since his 2018 switch to Alaves, things have taken a downward turn for him. He was quickly deemed not good enough with only 13 appearances to his name before being sent out on loan to Turkey. Since then he’s had a fruitless 17 months with Bundesliga 2 club Hannover.

Now, he finds himself in the Israeli league with Maccabi Netanya. With all due respect, that’s not the level he believed he would be operating at considering he’s 27 years of age.

Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Had Twumasi signed for Celtic, he would’ve had plenty of opportunities and under a fine manager in Rodgers. He had power, pace, and it’s fair to say a wand of a left foot. At least when he faced Celtic in any case. He had also impressed against us a year earlier, setting up a goal in a UCL qualifier back in 2016 too.

This always looked like a deal Celtic should’ve done. However, the fact it hasn’t worked out for him in Spain and Germany perhaps tells its own story. It’s a shame to see that the talent and potential he appeared to have didn’t really come to much.

It would’ve been intriguing to know how that may have changed had he came to Celtic Park.

In other news, Ex-Benfica hero urges permanent Celtic move for Jota