Airdrieonians manager Ian Murray has admitted that it’s “fantastic” for the club that the likes of Celtic and Rangers are interested in his star-man Thomas Robert.
The Scottish Sun reported over the weekend that Tosh McKinlay had been sent by the Hoops to run the rule over Robert, with Nick Hammond also paying a visit to see him in recent times too.
Rangers, Hibs, and Hearts were also linked with a move as some of Scotland’s biggest clubs eye up Airdrie for their young Frenchman.
However, even though there appears to be some considerable interest, Murray was keen to stress that no bids have come in for the young winger. He was, however, extremely pleased with how much the story lifts the profile of the League One club.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Murray said: “Does he need more upheaval of going somewhere else at this time? At this time, I would say absolutely not. But I’m speaking as the manager of Airdrie, who wants the best players on my team. He might see things totally differently.
“But there’s nothing there at the moment. He needs to keep producing, keep his consistency levels really high and if he does that, it’s just natural teams will be interested in him. From a personal point of view and a team point of view, of course [we are worried he will leave]. He’s done exceptionally well, he’s a very good player.
“For his development and his point of view, it is fantastic. It’s fantastic for the club and the player. When was the last time Airdrie had a player linked to the Old Firm and it’s on the back page of a national newspaper? It’s not very often and there is some legs in the story.”
A long way from Celtic standard, but it’s a step that’s been taken before
The stats suggests Robert is some way away from competing for a spot in Celtic’s first-team. With three goals and two assists in five appearances for the League One outfit, there is so much work for him to do if he’s to become a Parkhead regular.
But it’s a move that’s been made in the past and one which has sparked a degree of success too. The last young player the Hoops snapped up from Airdrie was a certain young Tony Watt, who went on to score one of the most iconic goals in the club’s history against Barcelona back in 2012.
Of course, in the end, Watt couldn’t nail down regular game time and found himself leaving the club permanently just several years later. But of course we’re talking about two different players.
It could be that Robert has his choice of clubs in either January or the summer, which suggests he’s taken to Scotland like a duck to water after leaving Montpellier in France at the end of last season.
One way to get in Airdrie’s good books on this one though could be to loan him back to the League One club to see out the season. This would give Robert some continuity and allow Airdrie to get a season out of the player they took a chance on at the start of the season.
We’ll see what happens, but in any case, this looks like another long-term project if he does sign.