Report: Burnley follow Celtic example, bring in SPFL star Thomas Robert on trial
You hear nothing about Thomas Robert for a while, then there are two stories about the Celtic target in one morning.
Following Airdrie boss Ian Murray’s comments on Robert, the Daily Record state that the Frenchman is to join Burnley on trial.
According to the report, Robert is head for a two-week trial with Sean Dyche’s side. The Record say that the son of Laurent, the PSG and Newcastle United star, was scouted by the Clarets last season. Celtic had Robert on trial in February. However, the Bhoys haven’t made their move quite yet.
Robert has another year left on his deal with the SPFL side. According to the winger’s teammate Leon McCann, the former Montpellier youth player enjoyed his experience at Lennoxtown [Daily Record].
For a time, it looked as if Celtic had beaten competition including Rangers, Dundee United and Aberdeen for the French attacker. However, the departure of Neil Lennon threw some transfer stories off kilter. Liam Shaw was signed in the interim, and another target, Osaze Urhoghide, made the move yesterday. However, Robert’s future is far less certain.
Seems like it’s now or never for Celtic, if they want to land Thomas Robert
If Celtic were aggressively recruiting the Airdrie man, they’ve hardly shown it. With League One and Two football suspended earlier in the year, Robert had the opportunity to impress at Lennoxtown. If the Celtic hierarchy were particularly keen on him, you sense they would have made their move by now.
As we said earlier, it’s likely that Ange Postecoglou is using evidence from the scouting team to make his first transfer decisions. Whether Ange is less keen on the winger, we just don’t know. But the lure of Premier League football, and developing in a highly-rated Academy, will be hard to turn down.
It’s also unclear how much first-team football Celtic could offer to Robert. He’s talented, sure, but he just hasn’t played top-level football. If there’s a chance Burnley can offer more first-team exposure than Celtic, it could be key. He wouldn’t be competing in Europe or for titles, however.
In any case, it’s Burnley in the driver’s seat now. If he raises eyebrows at Turf Moor, it may be too late for Celtic to act.