Jack Rodwell to Celtic - Deja vu all over again ?

By Ruari Macneil

January 16, 2018

News of a potential move for Jack Rodwell was generally met with sheer horror from Celtic fans.

The reaction on Twitter was about as sour as it could get, with most fans pleading for the move not to happen – insisting that the former Everton and Manchester City player lacks the quality to be a Celtic Park star.

But is this entirely fair on the 26-year-old England international? Think about what Celtic fans were saying about Scott Sinclair some 18 months ago, and Sinclair has certainly confounded his critics. In fact the two player do have something in common.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’IpS4TOr7QQ9M33krRV1PmQ’,sig:’M2a23OblgnYanl81IFkMTx9cW4pY9qlzVCNBZTPn9L4=’,w:’594px’,h:’406px’,items:’832804614′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

Both players impressed at their breakthrough clubs, which earnt them a big money move to Manchester City in 2012. Both endured a torrid time at City and rarely featured for the Premier League giants, although, Rodwell did pick up a winner’s medal in 2013/2014 when City were crowned Champions.

Fed up with being a bench warner both Englishmen eventually managed to secure a move away from the Etihad to struggling Premier League sides where both went on to experience relegation to the Championship after distinctly unimpressive performances. Sinclair went down with Aston Villa in 2015/2016, whilst Rodwell suffered relegation the following year with Sunderland.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’zeyQ5I8CSwlMbC3Wm4nTyQ’,sig:’QMn0zj2YjDSvIEo72B_xmcnXypKXaHNmE5D1l1cppqI=’,w:’594px’,h:’414px’,items:’648277432′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

But what happened to Sinclair when he made the switch north to Celtic Park? He bagged 25 goals in his debut season, playing a huge role in his team’s success as he helped Celtic on a record-breaking unbeaten treble winning season.

Of course, this is all speculative, and they are two completely different players, but it is relevant to consider what has happened to Sinclair before making snap judgements on how Rodwell would fare at Celtic.

Rodwell, 26, is 2 years younger than Sinclair and therefore is yet to reach his prime. Despite having featured only 3 times for Sunderland this season, missing out mostly through injury, a regular run of games at Celtic Park could be exactly what he needs to reignite his career and finally fulfill his potential.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’7yBxWw6ATqZDU-ESLBjG5w’,sig:’la0CIwLa40pCfzNl3tJiv8aC1ck6mByLE2nJQMsSCsA=’,w:’594px’,h:’377px’,items:’162508062′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

An added bonus to the potential move for Rodwell is Sunderland’s offer to cancel his £70,000-per-week contract. This would allow the former Everton man to leave on a free, enabling the Hoops to pick him up on the cheap.

Rodwell may not be the finest central-midfielder to ever grace the Premier League, but he has a solid decade of English top-flight experience under his belt and that surely must count for something.

With Scott Brown now aged 32, we often see more attacking midfielders in the likes of Callum McGregor and Stuart Armstrong partnered with the captain in a midfield two. Rodwell would add another genuinely defensive midfield option which would do wonders to the squad depth, especially with Tom Rogic experiencing injury issues and Armstrong having been linked with a potential move away.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’tvdupUxiSLVc1dlIcmlzBw’,sig:’YgqCh4ItkpCpO6s3oGSpbfkAxku4f6U-4fYLfMS2_NI=’,w:’594px’,h:’370px’,items:’894241916′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

Admittedly, Rodwell may be a bit rustier around the edges than Sinclair. However, Sinclair’s rise to prominence at Celtic off the back of two abysmal years in Birmingham is stone wall evidence that it is wrong to completely write-off a player with a decent footballing pedigree.

List page image © Brian Hargadon