SPFL boss cynical over landing Celtic defender; wanted in Scotland and England

By Euan Davidson

January 15, 2022

Dundee boss James McPake has said talks with Celtic defender Osaze Urhoghide over a loan move have “stalled”.

Dundee looked to be in with a shot of landing the former Sheffield Wednesday man on loan. Morecambe, managed by ex-Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson, are also reportedly keen. Dundee have, of course, already secured one player from Celtic this season, bringing in Leigh Griffiths on loan.

Urhoghide looks a promising talent. But with first-team opportunities at a premium, the Dutch defender looks to be one of a number of players heading out on loan this month. Liam Shaw has already joined Motherwell, while Barry Coffey has extended his loan with Cork City. Adam Montgomery could also head out on loan this month.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

McPake, whose Dundee side are struggling defensively, looked to be in a good position to bring the defender in. And they still could, but the Dens Park boss has suggested that talks, at the moment, have come to a halt.

The Dundee manager said [Courier]:

“We spoke to Celtic regarding Osaze [Urhoghide].

“It’s got to the point where we have spoken to the player, spoken to the agent and it looked like it was going to happen.

“It has stalled unfortunately, at the minute.”

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Celtic defender Osaze Urhoghide seems good fit for Dundee, could agreement be revived?

Urhoghide clearly has options. The Morecambe loan deal would be great experience; the Shrimps are in a relegation battle this season. If Urhoghide managed to help Robinson’s side to safety, that’d be invaluable on his CV.

But so, too are Dundee. It’s been a poor season for the Taysiders, amassing just 16 points from 20 games [Sky Sports]. Their goal difference is comfortable the worst in the top-flight, scoring just 18 but conceding 37 times. 10 of those have been just to Celtic.

So, it’d be quite a job for Urhoghide, shoring up that Dark Blue defence. However, we’ve got to assume other irons are in the fire for the defender, who can play centre-back or right-back.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

For Celtic, whether it’s Dundee, Morecambe or elsewhere, the priority has to be about finding the best place for Urhoghide to develop. It would make sense to loan him out to a team with defensive struggles. That’d surely be the best way to monitor the impact he can have by himself on a leaky defence.

There’s value in that. It’s somewhat quantifiable evidence of the impact he could have.

Very obviously, there’s talent there. Celtic fans were left impressed by the defender after the dramatic 3-2 win over Real Betis, in which he went up against international players on his debut. He helped to leave Diego Lainez, a Mexican international, mightily frustrated.

He also passed the ball crisply, won 9 duels and recovered the ball 6 times [Fotmob]. If he can do it at Europa League level, then surely there’ll be suitable teams who can benefit from his presence.

It’s just that it might not be Dundee that the Celtic defender heads to.

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