A new name was added to Neil Lennon’s January Celtic striker hunt today, with The Scottish Mail on Sunday reporting that veteran Glenn Murray is an option for the club in the second half of the season (05/01 print edition, page 128).
The paper say that even if the Hoops follow through on the signing of Andraz Sporar, Lennon is on the hunt for a back-up star and that Murray is on the radar.
With less than six months left on his contract, it’s said that he is available on a short-term loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, with clubs such as Nottingham Forest also showing interest.
An experienced target man is thought to be just what the club need as we attempt to make serious progress in the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Europa League.
Impressive late-career run
Murray has been something of a journeyman lower league player throughout his career in England, but prior to this season had by far his best spell in the game, despite his advancing years.
He netted 23 goals in 2016/17, helping Brighton secure promotion to the top-flight. He followed that up with two excellent campaigns at the elite level, scoring 14 goals in 2017/18 and 15 goals in 2018/19 (Transfermarkt).
Now 36, there’s no doubt he would be something of a stop-gap signing but players such as Jermain Defoe have shown recently that there can be success for veteran English stars in the Scottish top-flight.
He is struggling for game time this season but that’s mostly to do with Brighton significantly improving their striking options, most notably the addition of Neal Maupay.
Sutton was a big fan last season
If there’s one man who knows a thing or two about becoming a target man striking success in Glasgow, it’s Chris Sutton. The outspoken pundit wrote enthusiastically about the player last season, suggesting he has enough quality to perform a back-up role at Celtic Park.
As quoted by The Daily Mail in September 2018, he said: “It is a lazy stereotype to say that Glenn Murray’s game is based purely on putting himself about and bullying defenders.
“You cannot survive as a 34-year-old striker at this level on brawn alone. You need brains too and Murray is an extremely intelligent footballer. His game has never been about pace.
“His key attributes are his link-up play, his clever movements, his ability to read things in and around the box.”
Sutton would go on to state there is no reason why he can’t perform at a high level for another few seasons, so presumably, he’d also have kind things to say about a move to Celtic.
Murray may not be the most inspiring reported transfer target we’ve ever had, but he could prove to be an effective weapon in a physical league.