"Very talented"; English club legend can't get enough of incoming Celtic signing Riley McGree

By David Walton

January 11, 2022

Birmingham City great Bryan Hughes has provided a brilliant in-depth look at imminent Celtic signing Riley McGree.

Reports in Scotland already have McGree as having signed for the club. Indeed, the Daily Record believe the deal is all but done, with just international clearance to come through.

The player spent the last 15 months with Birmingham in the Championship on loan from Charlotte FC in the MLS. It’s fair to say he left a fan-favourite too, with many wanting him back for the new year.

Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images

However, it looks as though he’s set for bigger and better things. And speaking via the Record, Hughes has opened up on the player’s main strengths: “I just like the way he’s very comfortable when receiving the ball. He wants it. Even if he makes mistakes. I was attack minded myself and I love seeing that because, when some creative players start making mistakes, they start to filter out of the game for 15 or 20 minutes.

“At Birmingham, he was one of the creative players who was relied upon. If he decided he didn’t want the ball for 10 or 15 minutes, all of a sudden, the game is passing you by. So I like the fact he’s the type who constantly demands it.

“He can go left, he can go right, he’s very unpredictable at times and he’ll definitely get the fans off their seats. He can play the No.10 role, although he’s gone wide as well. Similar to myself, I used to get pushed wide now and again to fit certain shapes and formations.

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“I’d say he’s in the same mould and effective in the attacking areas whether it is left, right or central. He’s a very talented player. He can do the business at Celtic.”

Riley McGree needs to bring it if he’s to displace current Celtic talent

It’s always exciting when Celtic are close to completing the signing of a new player. Even more so when you know the manager has worked with the player in the past. McGree fits that bill having been part of the Australian national team squad during the Ange Postecoglou days.

But make no mistake, the Australian international certainly needs to bring his A game if he wants to be a regular starter at Celtic Park. The competition, after all, is becoming extremely fierce.

For example, who do Celtic drop at the moment to fit McGree into the team? Tom Rogic? David Turnbull? If he’s to operate in his natural attacking-midfield role, it means having to drop one of our special forward-thinking talents.

Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

You do get the sense after McGree’s arrival that we will be getting a bit heavy in that particular area of the pitch. Then again, Ange likes to have more than one attacking midfielder on the park at the sametime.

He’s certainly arriving with a big reputation. From his stunning scorpion kick of 2018 to this most recent rave review of a Birmingham City legend, McGree is highly thought of all over the place.

Here’s hoping he can reach the potential many seem to believe he has at Celtic Park.

In other news, Celtic loanee is wowing fans down in England who want him signed permanently