Celtic were linked with a move for Sheffield Wednesday striker Jordan Rhodes during the January transfer window. Yesterday it emerged that the Owls wanted a £1 million loan fee from the Hoops to secure his services (The Sun on Sunday Print Edition 23/02; page 563).
Neil Lennon and the football club declined to part with such a sum and Rhodes stayed at Hillsborough. On the face of things, it looks like a good decision on the part of Celtic.
Since the window has closed the Hoops have kicked on. Lennon’s men are now 12 points clear of Rangers and are well on course for a ninth title in succession.
Leigh Griffiths has been like a new signing since the team returned from their winter break; smashing five goals in all competitions.
Celtic also have the brilliant Odsonne Edouard spearheading their attack and he has 25 goals so far this season.
Rhodes would have provided competition for places but he would have been expensive given the figures quoted for a six-month loan.
In December, the Wednesday ace fired a brilliant hat-trick at Nottingham Forest in a 4-0 win, looking like the player that has lit up the Championship during his career.
Since then he has remarkably found his way down Garry Monk’s pecking order. He hasn’t registered a goal since running riot at Forest and hasn’t been in a matchday squad since a 2-1 defeat to Wigan in January.
Rhodes has netted 108 goals in 286 appearances at Championship level but of late he has badly lost his way.
It seems strange that a player who has scored for fun throughout his career is now suffering from a crisis in confidence.
There is clearly an underlying issue with Rhodes. If everything was fine then he’d surely be the first name on Monk’s team-sheet.
Celtic don’t need any player upsetting the brilliant team spirit and Lennon choosing not to sign the Wednesday man looks a wise call.
Rhodes is paid a staggering £40,000-a-week (Sheffield Star) at Hillsborough and surely Celtic would have been asked to pay some of that on top of the loan fee.
Those figures for a man with three goals all season don’t stack up. Rhodes is inferior to Edouard and on current form, Griffiths is proving undroppable too.
It looks as though Celtic dodged a bullet by not being held to ransom by Wednesday and it’ll now be interesting to see if Rhodes changes clubs in the summer.