Partick Thistle could look to Celtic for more loans this summer

By David Walton

May 26, 2021

Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall has admitted that he could plunder Celtic for more loan deals this summer as he bigged up the Parkhead youngsters’ improved attitudes.

McCall has regularly taken Celtic starlets on in recent years. In 2018, he moved to give Ross Doohan a big break with Championship side Ayr United on a season-long loan deal. Last term, after moving to Partick, he took Celtic youngster Lee O’Connor with him for the campaign too.

Celtic have moved to send plenty of their best youth talents out this season for regular first-team action. The like of Jonathan Afolabi, Luca Connell, Barry Coffey, Lee O’Connor, Kerr McInroy, Ewan Henderson, and Scott Robertson have all spent time away from Parkhead.

And when discussing Rangers and Celtic young players, McCall left the door open to scour the Glasgow club’s youth teams this summer too. He would also big up the vastly improved change in their attitudes too.

As quoted by the Glasgow Times, McCall said: “I’ve got an understanding with them – I could get two, maybe three [loan players from Glasgow]. When you get loans of the quality of Ross Doohan from Celtic or Stephen Kelly from Rangers then there might be work to be done there but they’ve got to be the right type.

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“The one thing I’ve noticed about the loaning of young Rangers and Celtic players now is that years ago, their attitude didn’t seem to be great. Now, with the exception of one who I won’t name, every single one of them has had an outstanding attitude.

“Breen: outstanding. Kelly: what an attitude. Doohan: what an attitude. They were all really humble and wanted to learn so you would never rule it out.”

Partick Thistle would be a fine proving ground for many Celtic youth players

For many of our inexperienced youngsters, a move to Partick Thistle would be ideal. Thistle have been promoted to the Scottish Championship for next season, so they’ll be operating at a much higher level than League One.

In addition to that, it’s a club that will expect a promotion fight again this term. That brings with it added pressure, something Celtic’s best young talents need to be able to get to grips wide. It would be just a small sample of the amount of pressure they would be forced to endure as regular Celtic first-team stars.

The last Celtic player to go to Partick on loan was O’Connor. For large spells he struggled too before his renaissance with Tranmere Rovers this season. Thistle comes with its own big challenges, and there are no guarantees that you can just walk in and be a success there.

Ian McCall (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s a great place for academy stars to develop. McCall has had plenty of experience working with Celtic youth products in the past too, with varying degrees of success.

There will be plenty of Lennoxtown hopefuls that need a first team challenge next season. Yet those same players will clearly not be at the level required as of yet to play for Celtic on a regular basis. That gap between Celtic youth team and first team has been a big issue for us in the past. Moves to clubs such as Partick Thistle will help us bridge that.

It’ll be interesting to see what the new manager’s plans are for the likes of Henderson, Connell, and O’Connor. But for others, there will certainly be good reason to move to a club like Thistle.

In other news, Arsenal are looking to raid Celtic again, but on one condition only.