"Will always hurt me"; EFL midfielder outlines his big Celtic regret

By David Walton

June 19, 2022

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has stated that his one regret in football is not having the opportunity to play for Celtic.

The former Scotland international is a huge Hoops supporter and regularly vocalises his love for the club on social media. However, despite being one of Scotland’s hottest young talents over a decade ago, his career has never given him the opportunity to move to Parkhead.

Bannan has featured over 80 times in the English Premier League and on 27 occasions at international level. However, there was never a time when interests aligned for both Bannan and Celtic to do a deal.

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

And the player has admitted on the Celtic Unrestricted View podcast that not getting the chance to move to his boyhood heroes will hurt him for life:

“To be honest with you, my career so far I think I could’ve done a lot better. Not through my will of trying because I gave my best every day, but I just think right place, right time sometimes – I could’ve got a few more lucky breaks.

“Me and my Dad speak about it quite a lot, everybody has got their end path and this is the path for me. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I feel lucky and privileged to be at a big club like Sheffield Wednesday still. But looking back I reckon I could’ve probably stayed around the Premier League a bit longer and probably played for Scotland a bit longer with a little bit of luck on my side.

“I will never look back with regrets, but maybe the only regret is I never got the chance to play for Celtic and that will always hurt me until the day I die.”

Barry Bannan to Celtic – when would it have been viable?

Bannan has featured in many positions throughout his career but is, primarily, a box-to-box midfielder. It’s interesting that a player that featured so regularly in the EPL several years ago was never truly close to signing for us. Especially if it was one of his big aims.

But then again, players and managers think differently when they’re playing at the highest level down south. Their pay-packets are on a colossal scale whilst they know they’re operating in amongst the best colleagues in the world. It would’ve always been difficult to lure Bannan away from that.

At the same time, when he was at his peak, Celtic just didn’t really need to focus on bringing him in. This was at the time when we were qualifying for the UCL under Neil Lennon and looked as powerful as we’d been in the midfield since the Martin O’Neill days.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

By the time Ronny Deila had come along and struggled in his second season, a move for Bannan was never really appealing. He was playing Championship football with Sheffield Wednesday at the time and has been with the club ever since.

Had he been wanted enough in Glasgow, something undoubtedly would’ve been viable. But the unfortunate part is that Bannan just never managed to recapture the height of performance level needed to play for Celtic as a regular.

Even so, he’s just as much of a Celtic man as you and me. He certainly makes that clear on Twitter!

In other news, Celtic hero Reo Hatate makes classy return to Kawasaki Frontale training base