Celtic departures could give Jonny Hayes a chance to shine

By John Reid

January 10, 2020

Celtic’s wide areas could look very different by the end of the transfer window. For a start, Scott Sinclair has left the club to join Preston. The Hoops have reportedly agreed a fee with Inter Miami to sell Lewis Morgan. That is two wide players who could leave the club, with one already departed.

Therefore, Celtic will need some new blood for the wide areas of the squad. However, there is one player who previously excelled in that position who is currently at the club  – Jonny Hayes.

Once nominated for player of the year

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Hayes has mostly played as a left-back this season, and during his time at Celtic. However, when he was at Aberdeen, he was one of the best players in Scotland when he played on the wing. Indeed, in 2016-17, he was one of the four nominations for Scotland’s player of the year.

If you look at the statistics from his time at Pittodrie, Hayes was an assist machine. In his last season with Aberdeen, the 2016-17 season, the player had 24 assists and scored 11 goals, a great record.

Postecoglou hints at big week of Celtic announcements

That assist number is a good reason why Neil Lennon should give Hayes a go on the wing when the Hoops return to action next Saturday against Partick Thistle.

Number of assists could help in title race

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

If he adds only half of that number to his game between the Partick game and the end of the season, it could be a very profitable second-half of the season for Celtic.

Hayes is a naturally attacking player. It is unfortunate that for most of Neil Lennon’s time as Celtic boss we haven’t really seen that side of his game.

However, now could be the time that changes. With Celtic in a close title battle, any advantage that the Hoops can get would be most welcome. If that means playing Hayes on the wing for a number of games then so be it.