Report: Celtic fight to keep youngster Cameron Harper

By Euan Davidson

January 15, 2021

Celtic youngster Cameron Harper has been offered a new contract by the club.

However, the Sacaramento-born winger, a USMNT youth international, needs more playing time. That’s according to a report in the Daily Record. The paper suggests that without assurances, he may opt to move back to the US.

Harper made his full debut for the Bhoys on Monday, starting the 1-1 draw with Hibs (BBC). MLS clubs are reportedly interested in the pacy wide man.

There are huge expectations for Harper, whose career is being followed closely in America. Only 19, Harper joined the Bhoys in 2018, having been spotted by Tommy Burns’ son (Celtic FC).

With three caps for the USMNT U-20s (Transfermarkt), Harper needs to continue his development. The senior national side has wingers like Christian Pulisic to contend with on the flanks.

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Cameron Harper in action for Celtic vs Hibs / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic could miss out on a big talent if Cameron Harper walks

Harper is highly-rated around Lennoxtown. While Karamoko Dembélé and Armstrong Oko-Flex win more headlines, Harper is nearer to the first team.

Having been named in match-day squads, albeit from the bench, this season has been very important for the American winger.

His debut, against Hibs, may have come in the backdrop of a crisis. However, given the circumstances Celtic found themselves in, they placed a lot of trust in the young attacker.

Despite pulling up with cramp around the hour mark, Harper by no means disgraced himself on Monday. Forced to play as a lone striker, his movement and dribbling looked good. His end-product isn’t there yet, but at 19, there’s still plenty of time for him to develop his game.

Celtic will be hoping that development comes with the club.

It’s another frustration for the Hoops faithful. Harper’s contract runs out in the summer, along with viral sensation Karamoko Dembélé. Both are right-sided wing players, and both will be seeking assurances of game-time sooner rather than later.

With James Forrest missing so much of this season, it’s surprising either player hasn’t featured more. We’re hoping that both youngsters extend their stay at Celtic, but they’ll be surprised not to have featured hitherto Monday, as well.

 


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