Without Diego Laxalt, 21-22 season could be huge for Celtic youngster Adam Montgomery

By Euan Davidson

March 31, 2021

Celtic youngster Adam Montgomery already has an interesting story.

How often does a striker become a full-back? Surely, it can’t be that often. In terms of transferable skills, you could argue for taking players on. Tommy Gemmell famously had a fantastic shot on him, as Kieran Tierney does now. But as positions, they vary wildly in and of themselves, and the glamour attached.

If you ever had a full-back’s name on the back of your jersey then fair enough. On a personal note, coming of age in the time of the Three Amigos, Larsson, Sutton, Hartson et al, nothing seemed better than the life of a striker. Especially when we had so many charismatic and consistent front-men in succession.

Adam Montgomery will have grown up watching Scott McDonald, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras. Having learnt his trade as a centre-forward who can play on the wing, with all respect, his childhood heroes are unlikely to have been Lee Naylor or Paul Telfer. He’s ready for the challenge, though; last week he told Celtic TV:

“When [changing position] was first to put me, I was a bit “ahh”. I am a tricky winger normally, I like beating players and getting at people.

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“The way Celtic play full-backs is very attacking so going back to full-back, it hasn’t been a massive difference for me. I’m really enjoying it.”

Sounds good to us. At 18, he’s been training with the first-team, and that’s important. With Diego Laxalt unlikely to stay long-term, regardless of reports, Montgomery could find opportunities coming his way next season.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli / (Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

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There are few things Celtic supporters like more than cheering for a home-grown hero. Look at how popular Kieran Tierney was at left-back.

Montgomery has a massive act to follow if he’s to emulate the Arsenal star, but from his own words, he fits the profile. An attacking full-back with experience in positions far up the pitch, it’s his lack of game-time as a defender that’s the only significant draw-back here. Perhaps, with a full pre-season under his belt and more time learning from Taylor and Laxalt, he’ll find the tools he needs.

As we said, Celtic are unlikely to spend £7m on Diego Laxalt, and Boli Bolingoli’s return to Lennoxtown is unlikely to last much longer than a week or two. While his indiscretions may seem less significant in hindsight, he still embarrassed the club and endangered his fellow professionals. It’d be quite something if he wasn’t sold at the first opportunity.

So, unless Celtic were to bring in a left-back, which is obviously possible, Montgomery would be second-in-line. Certainly, 21-22 seems like no time for risks but it’d be fantastic to see our next manager utilise Academy players more, and Montgomery seems like he’s at the head of queue in either full-back position.

What’s more, it’d be great to see him against Falkirk on Saturday. Surely, the Bhoys can afford to rotate the squad against a League One side. Or, at least, we should see what he’s like before the season’s out.

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