Scotland snub shouldn't put Celtic off Ryan Gauld

By Euan Davidson

May 20, 2021

So it came to pass that stardom in Portugal doesn’t quite do it, in terms of a Scotland cap.

Yet Celtic should still be more than interested in former Dundee United man Ryan Gauld. Look, we’ve said it a million times: Celtic are on the cusp of a gigantic rebuild, and big stars like Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, Kristoffer Ajer et al are probably heading elsewhere. I know this, you know this, your cat knows it, too.

Weird as it is to have imagined even 5 years ago, the national team are blessed with an abundance of creative midfield talents. Unfortunately, Gauld didn’t do enough to justify selection. However, as an option for Celtic, Steve Clarke saying “naw” doesn’t mean he’s suddenly not good enough.

It’s a genuine mystery, to me at least, that more isn’t being made of Ryan Gauld’s availability. The Aberdeen-born attacking midfielder is out of contract [Transfermarkt]. If a player can boast 16 goal involvements in 33 league matches in a decent league, he’s probably good enough to slot in at Celtic Park.

Maybe it’s paraphrasing Sam Allardyce a bit [BBC], but maybe if he was called ‘Ryaninho’ (‘Wee Ryan’, for the polyglots amongst you), he’d make more target lists. Who knows?

Ryan Gauld / (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Celtic would be well placed to pounce for Ryan Gauld

According to TEAMtalk, a host of English clubs are vying for Ryan Gauld’s signature. Why wouldn’t they; he’s still relatively young, has performed at a high level in Europe, and is scoring goals. A few years in the set-up at Sporting Club de Portugal, who have carved talents like Cristiano Ronaldo, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes won’t have hurt him, either.

His bravery in taking his talents out of the UK should be heralded. It’s not something we see particularly often, and following Gauld’s career has been a fun excursion over the last few years. But at 25, he could legitimately be an excellent signing for an ambitious club on familiar territory. So why not Celtic?

If Ryan Christie has just six months remaining on his contract, it’d be daft not to consider replacements. While David Turnbull can play as a number 10, he’s also more than useful deeper in the midfield. Also, his injury history suggests we’ll need players around him, and it’d be common sense anyway.

In Gauld, we could have the next Kris Commons. A goalscorer and provider, Gauld is someone with valuable experience. But he’s also someone who already understands the Scottish game, and could transcend it in years to come.

It baffles me as to why he’s not being more heavily linked. The fact that he won’t make Euro 2020 shouldn’t be putting anyone off, and Celtic should take advantage of his contract situation.

Put it this way: getting a quality player for free is not something we can afford to turn down in a summer like this one.

READ MORE: Do Celtic fans need Euro 2020?