Linfield boss delivers firm transfer message over Celtic-linked Trai Hume
Linfield boss David Healy has slammed the notion that right-back Trai Hume could leave on the cheap after summer speculation involving Celtic.
After the transfer window closed at the end of August, Belfast Live claimed that the Hoops were keen on a move for the Northern Irish defender. Celtic were mentioned alongside Lincoln City and several others as it was reported a late scramble for his signature ensued.
Nothing else was said about it as Hume has continued to develop in his homeland. He’s managed 15 appearances for Linfield this season after spending last term on a successful loan stint at Ballymena United [Transfermarkt].
However, Healy has sent out a warning to potential interested parties as he stated the summer interest was nowhere near what Linfield valued the player at.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Healy said: “With our valuation of the player, it was a million miles away. Trai is still developing and in need of experience and games. He still needs to gather minutes and he will do that over the period of time that he remains at our football club unless somebody who values the player properly comes in.
“One thing we don’t want to do is stand in anybody’s way but we don’t want to devalue our football club. No disrespect to some of the clubs in England or Scotland who enquire about not only Trai but some of our younger players and promise them the high life and dreams and whatever else, but all of a sudden they are back in Northern Ireland a couple of years later because someone who was behind them in England or Scotland has overtaken them.
“We want to put a marker down whereby we say to clubs if you want our players, gone are the days when you give us a £1,000 development fee for a 16-year-old who we feel in two years’ time could be worth £50,000 or £100,000. Those days are long gone.”
Linfield likely won’t stop Celtic if Hoops get serious over Trai Hume
At only 19 years of age, Hume has a long way to go in his development process. If Celtic did manage to bag him from Linfield, you’re likely talking an extended spell with the B team before he would be first-team ready at Parkhead.
He’s still only had less than 50 appearances in the Northern Irish Premiership [Transfermarkt]. It’s clear, even from our perspective, that he needs to continue building up his senior game-time.
Granted, the warning from Healy will likely fall on deaf ears at Parkhead. If Celtic want Hume badly enough, they have overwhelming resources in which to take him with. It’s all about how highly the Hoops may value him and whether Ange Postecoglou believes he has the potential to make an impact at Parkhead.
Celtic have already plucked the League of Ireland earlier this year with the acquisition of Liam Scales from Shamrock Rovers. But he was a player that already had over 150 senior games to his name and is four years Hume’s senior [Transfermarkt].
So it’s no surprise to see them looking up the road in Northern Ireland for talent too. For now, the right-back’s sole focus simply has to be on getting a number of games under his belt and continuing to develop.
Celtic will no doubt be monitoring the situation closely between now and January. At the moment, this is simply a waiting game.