Transfer

Celtic could turn to interesting new scout who identified Virgil van Dijk

Celtic may have found their ideal successor to Mark Lawwell as the club’s chief scout, according to a fresh update regarding the club’s behind-the-scenes work.

Mark Lawwell leaves Celtic

The Hoops lost a prominent figure at the beginning of the month, with Lawwell leaving the club after two years in charge as their head of first-team scouting and recruitment. He is the son of chairman Peter Lawwell, but his reputation had taken a hit after some inconsistent work in the transfer market.

Celtic officially announced earlier in March that both he and lead first-team scout Joe Dudgeon had left Celtic “to pursue fresh challenges”, with the pair immediately placed “on a period of gardening leave.”


idah-celtic-premiership-rodgers

In fact, one such negative story surrounding Lawwell was related to the arrival of Adam Idah on loan during the January transfer window, with the striker arriving from Norwich City until the end of the season. Unfortunately, the former Hoops transfer guru failed to ensure that there was an option to sign him permanently in his contract, meaning he could now go elsewhere instead of staying on at Parkhead this summer.

It was an error that arguably summed up Lawwell’s shortcomings in his role, and the search is now on to find a superior replacement who can improve the Scottish Premiership champions’ work when it comes to bringing in the right players.

Celtic eyeing “interesting” Lawwell replacement

According to a new report from reliable journalist Mark Hendry for Football Scotland, Neil McGuinness could make a return to Celtic as Lawwell’s replacement, having been first-team scout for six years in the past.

“He was at the club as a first team scout back between 2010 and 2016 before moving to Qatar. He knows the club and how its run considering all the main board members are essentially still in place!

“He has also built, over the past five years or so, a winning team with Columbus Crew and has a proven track record in unearthing gems. He was seemingly the real main man who identified Virgil van Dijk for Celts and would be an interesting appointment.”


Van-Dijk-Celtic-Mbuyamba-Rodgers

The one thing that immediately jumps out from Hendry’s update is the fact that he brought Virgil van Dijk to Celtic, highlighting his eye for a top player.

The Dutchman has since gone on to have an incredible career at Liverpool, not only winning many major trophies, but also standing out as one of the best centre-backs of his generation, if not the best. McGuinness even once spoke about finding the Reds superstar, explaining the strengths he saw in him.

“Virgil was more of a young kid finding his feet in the first-team. I remember going over to watch Virgil, and I specifically picked a game where he was playing against Vitesse, away. The striker at the time for Vitesse was Wilfred Bony.

“The reason I picked that game was because I looked at it and I said to myself ‘well if he can defend against a guy like Bony, he’s going to be more suited to the physical aspect of British football’.

“You’re up against a lot of big lumps when you play in Britain. A lot of the teams you play against, specifically in Scotland, if they are going to attack you, it’s going to be a long ball approach.”

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