Cameron Harper says he is grateful for the offer made by Celtic to retain his services but that he wanted to move from Scotland back to his homeland.

It’s been confirmed that the young attacker has left the club to join New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.

On departing the club, Harper told the official club website: “I have really enjoyed my time at Celtic, it has been a great experience, of course I’m very grateful for the offer made to me by Celtic too, but I wanted to go back to the US and take this new opportunity.

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“Of course, it goes without saying, I wish Celtic nothing but success for the future.”

Harper had been training with the Celtic first-team for the majority of the season, having made pleasing progress during lockdown last year.

Former manager Neil Lennon talked up his abilities last summer, but opportunities were hard to come by for the American youth international.

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With his contract expiring, Celtic ultimately agreed on a deal with Red Bulls for the player to make the switch before the summer and the start of the MLS season.

The American side sound excited to have Harper on board.

 

Head coach Gerhard Struber told MLSsoccer.com: “I’m very happy to have Cameron join our team.

“Cameron is an exciting attacking player, with athleticism and strong technical ability.

“He sees the field very well and can create with the ball in tight spaces. As a staff we are excited to work with Cameron and help him continue to develop his game.”

Celtic’s pathway for young talents has been called into question over the last 12 months, with players such as Barry Hepburn, Liam Morrison and Josh Adam leaving for clubs in Germany and England.

Celtic youth development

The Celtic training centre at Lennoxtown / (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Harper’s exit isn’t a great look for the Bhoys either either.

However, youth development will undoubtedly be part of the club’s review into this season and their plans for the future.

It’s something the new sporting director needs to prioritise as the transfer market becomes increasingly more difficult for Celtic to navigate.

In other news, John Kennedy has provided an update on James Forrest’s return from injury.

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