Report: Leeds United eyeing up Celtic academy youngster Matthew Anderson

By David Walton

June 22, 2021

Leeds United have made an offer to sign Celtic academy youngster Matthew Anderson, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The young left-back was handed a pro contract with the Hoops back in January 2020 when he signed from Blantyre Soccer Academy.

After signing for the Hoops, BSA chief Jimmy Whelan stated that he could go on to follow in the footsteps of Kieran Tierney [Daily Record]. However, 17 months later and his Celtic future looks in some doubt.

The player is currently part of the under-18s side being coached by Darren O’Dea. And Leeds have targeted him as part of a fresh recruitment wave for their own academy.

The Yorkshire Evening Post also claims that Leeds remain interested in Leo Hjelde. However, the news about their desire to recruit Anderson comes only hours after it was reported that West Ham are close to signing Celtic youngster Armstrong Okoflex [The West Ham Way].

Leeds United interest is frustrating; Celtic won’t want their Lennoxtown exodus to continue

Celtic have had their fair share of academy setbacks in recent months. In fact, you could stretch the frustration all the way back to when Neil Lennon became permanent manager.

We’ve watched on as the likes of Liam Morrison, Barry Hepburn, Ewan Sparkes, and Liam Hughes all left for pastures new. Vincent Angelini has been linked with AC Milan too [Pianeta Milan]. Throw in the recent reports regarding Okoflex, Hjelde, and Anderson, and it’s troubling.

Of course, this is what happens when there’s no clear path available to the youngsters. There aren’t enough success stories at youth level for homegrown talent to believe their future should be here. We hardly have a track record in bringing through youth and giving them sustained opportunities.

Celtic youngsters training at Lennoxtown / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic will surely want to keep hold of their young talent for now. Especially with a manager in Ange Postecoglou being appointed who has a history of successful youth integration. Hopefully that can also spark some excitement into the academy players who may have been thinking about what’s next.

Of course, Anderson’s time would still be a while yet in any case. He should be targeting experience in the upcoming Lowland League fixtures with Celtic “B”.

Physical experience at that level is something he wouldn’t get if he moved to Elland Road. So fingers crossed Anderson stays put and we don’t start seeing another raft of potentially successful youngsters leaving the football club.

In other news, an EPL club are reportedly reluctant to get into a bidding war with Celtic.