"They would be building a statue"; former Celtic man tips Henrik Larsson for top job

By Euan Davidson

March 3, 2021

Former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson has once again been touted to fill the vacancy left by Neil Lennon.

Ex-Bhoys midfielder Simon Donnelly asserted that the club would build a statue of Larsson if he was successful. While an obvious risk, Larsson has managerial experience. Currently a first-team coach at Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona, the King of Kings has enjoyed variable spells managing in his native Sweden.

The former Helsingborg, Falkenberg and Landskrona manager [Transfermarkt], was backed by Donnelly. On the Celtic Huddle Podcast, Donnelly said (35.30):

“I’ve gone on on record before Lenny got the job the last time, and last week, saying why would that not excite Celtic fans? Why would it not?

“I got thrown lack of experience. The guy has had a top career, he has worked under some of the best managers, he is at one of the biggest clubs in the world as a first-team coach.

“People are worrying that his legacy being ruined, but look at it on the flip side if he came here and he was a success they would be building a statue outside of Henrik, if they shouldn’t already have one of Henrik for what he has achieved at the club.

“That would excite me as a fan. You have to win of Celtic. Of course there is a risk, but it would excite me.”

Henrik Larsson scores for Celtic against Blackburn Rovers / (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Would Henrik Larsson take Celtic job?

It’s the dream, is it not?

A modern-day Celtic icon succeeding as a player and a manager? Larsson still sells Celtic shirts, and helped the club turn around its fortunes after the dismal 90s. The idea of him winning league titles with the Bhoys isn’t just box office, it’s enormously sentimental.

To his credit, he’s currently working at arguably the biggest club in the world. The set of challenges facing Barça mean that Larsson is helping to handle big egos. The Blaugrana are going through turmoil off the pitch, but still have a realistic shot of winning La Liga [Sky Sports].

Given how they started the season, it would represent a huge turnaround in fortunes. That’d undoubtedly be a feather in Larsson’s cap, as first-team coach. His experience coaching the likes of Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets will be valuable.

However, it just feels enormously risky. When Celtic could feasibly get an experienced head like Rafa Benitez, Larsson seems less appealing as a manager. His stints in management have been largely bereft of success. Larsson is just too raw for a job of this magnitude.

It’d come with huge interest, of course. And the Celtic board wouldn’t need to worry about selling season tickets. Simon Donnelly is talking a great degree of sense, but considering the options, it’s hard to argue Larsson stands out highest.

READ MORE: File under “Surely Not”…