Off the bat, I’m not for one minute saying that Hibernian’s Martin Boyle is good enough to make it at Parkhead.
The Australian international has his level, and he’s clearly thriving at Easter Road under Jack Ross.
Contributing to 10 goals in 11 games since his new manager was brought in is impressive stuff (Transfermarkt). It’s also likely why Celtic have suddenly been reported as interested in him.
Indeed, the Scottish Sun claimed last night that Boyle was being watched by Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond at Easter Road.
He put in another productive display with two assists that helped Hibs to a 2-1 win against Hamilton on the night.
But it’s not news that will excite many. Boyle has shown good form in recent weeks, but he’s also no better than what we currently have at Parkhead.
Yet, in saying that, there is a plus-side to this interest.
Finally, it looks as though Celtic are taking things seriously when it comes to competition for James Forrest down the right.
Celtic have clearly identified the position
Celtic wouldn’t be interested in Boyle if there wasn’t a gap needing to be filled. If it was indeed Boyle who was being watched last night, and this isn’t something that Neil Lennon has confirmed, then it’s clear the club has identified the right-wing as an area needing strengthening.
The only natural competition we have for Forrest is Marian Shved. However, the Ukrainian has only made one cameo appearance in the league this season. He also hasn’t made a single matchday squad since October (Transfermarkt).
Outside of him, anyone we bring over to the right would naturally be a left-winger. It’s frustrating that, ever since Patrick Roberts left, we’ve almost decided not to bother bringing in a replacement.
Boyle has plenty of strengths and faults. If he signs you can bet he’ll have plenty to do to win over supporters. However, at the very least we could have some cover for Forrest.
It’s also worth noting that Boyle isn’t that long back from knee surgery.
He only returned to football back in October after missing the previous 10 months of action. Sure, he’s back with a bit of a bang under Ross, but he still has to be deemed high risk given the length of time out injured.
With a bit of luck, Celtic end up moving for a higher-profile target. But if there is a positive to take from the Boyle speculation, it’s that finally we’re looking to solve what’s effectively been a problem for the club since 2018.