Former Celtic attacking midfielder Kris Commons has argued against Lawrence Shankland leaving his current club Dundee United this January, writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column (13/01 print edition, Verdict supplement, page 16).
Neil Lennon and his staff are on the hunt for strikers to complement Odsonne Edouard and company. With Patryk Klimala reported to be on the verge of joining too (BBC Scotland), the manager’s options are likely to be boosted.
However, it’s also been reported this month that Lennon is, in fact, looking for two new strikers (The Sunday Post).
The subject of bringing Shankland to Celtic Park came up over the weekend after Nick Hammond was spotted watching the striker in action for the Tannadice club (The Scottish Sun).
However, Commons thinks the player himself should look to stay on in Dundee and come up to the Scottish Premiership after United are promoted, rather than look for his big move now.
As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail, (13/01 print edition, Verdict supplement, page 16), he said: “From his point of view, he will get a better move and a better calibre of club looking at him after a season in the top flight.
“John McGinn is the perfect example. He got two full seasons under his belt at Hibs — one in the Championship and then one in the Premiership — and look at him now.
“He got his big move to Aston Villa and was developing into one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League prior to his injury.”
Red hot form has attracted eyeballs
There’s no doubt that Shankland’s goalscoring form this season is worth looking at, even if it’s come mostly in the Scottish second-tier. He’s netted a fantastic 24 goals in 24 appearances this term, putting his club on the verge of a return to the top-flight (Transfermarkt).
It’s only natural that Celtic would be having a look at that kind of scoring rate on our doorstep.
However, I tend to agree with Commons here. I think Shankland needs a season at the highest level in Scotland, now he’s a mature and seasoned professional, to show what he can do.
He’s previously had a spell at Aberdeen but he was a much younger player, still learning his trade.
Perhaps after he’s shown his qualities in the Premiership can we talk about serious Celtic interest in the player.