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Celtic experience makes Kieran Tierney perfect for Everton

The 21-year-old has become Everton’s main transfer target.

Mathew Nash

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Everton are currently being linked with a move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. As reported by The Times, the Scotland international has become the club’s number one transfer target and will cost in excess of £25 million this summer.

Everton need to recruit a left-back, with Leighton Baines entering the latter stages of his career. Tierney, who can also play at centre-back when needed, has been identified as the perfect option.

Some Everton fans are however doubtful over the 21-year-old’s credentials. The fact he plays in Scotland has certainly not helped his case. Everton fans feel the standard is too low north of the border and it makes Tierney a poor target.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Why are they wrong?

Tierney has proven himself in one of the highest-pressure clubs to play for in Europe. The standard of football in Scotland may be low, but Tierney has had to play in front of one of the most impassioned fanbases in world football. He has thrived under the pressure and will do the same at Goodison Park.

Also, in European football, Tierney has often looked like the only Celtic player who belongs on such a stage.  

It is easy to knock Tierney as a Scottish football wonder. However, just look across Stanley Park at Liverpool. Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson both made their names in Scotland and the pair are now two of the best in their respective positions in England.

Everton should not see the fact Tierney plays for Celtic as a disadvantage, but rather an advantage. He sees Everton as a challenge he has to take and arrives a fully-formed 50-game a season defender.

At just 21-years-old, those do not come around often.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Celtic

Celtic fans will be keeping an eye on £3m flop Teemu Pukki

The Finnish striker struggled during his spell at Celtic.

Mathew Nash

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Norwich City snapped up a new recruit this week with the arrival of Teemu Pukki from Brondby on a free transfer. The 28-year-old arrives on a three-year deal and the Championship club will be hoping he can find the form he did in Denmark. He scored 25 goals in 36 games for the Danish side last season and the Canaries will hope he can take them to the next level in front of goal.

For Celtic fans, his turn of form and recent deal are something of a surprise.

The Bhoys snapped up Pukki from Schalke 04 in the summer of 2013 after he had struggled to shine in German football. The deal cost a reported £3 million and he was expected to be a hit. He was signed as a replacement for Gary Hooper, who had ironically headed to Norwich.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

On paper it looked a good deal but, for whatever reason, things did not work out for Pukki at Celtic.  He scored on his debut but soon enough the goals and his form left him. He managed just nine goals in 37 games for Celtic before joining Danish side Brondby, initially on loan, in 2014.

Pukki struggled to find the level necessary in Scotland but it would appear that his experience at Celtic has helped form him into a far better player.

Celtic fans are unlikely to wish he was still at Parkhead. When it comes to goals they are blessed with the talents of Odsonne Edouard, Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.

But no doubt Celtic fans will be keeping an eye on his progress in the Championship, as Pukki tries to crack the UK for the second time in his career.

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Celtic

He is not worth £50m but Dedryck Boyata has proved a point this summer

Celtic’s Belgian defender has silenced many doubters this summer

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this week former Celtic hero John Hartson received some ridicule after suggesting the club’s central defender Dedryck Boyata might be worth £50 million. While that is not the case and the Welshman addressed so in the Glasgow Evening Times, he has proven a lot this summer.

Which is why it would have hurt that he found himself dropped to the bench for Belgium’s lucky escape against Japan last night. Vincent Kompany replaced him now fully fit and Boyata did little to deserve being demoted.

He was excellent in the group stages, especially the game with England. He had Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy under control throughout the game and proved himself worthy of transfer talk.

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Boyata also helped to prove something about Scottish football. The game north of the border gets a rough deal from some fans considering the standard of play and football.

But there are some incredible exceptions such as Virgil van Dijk or Andrew Robertson who can go on and achieve positive things away from Scotland.

If Celtic receive a handsome offer based on Boyata’s World Cup displays this summer then they will no doubt snap it up. The Belgian has now done all he can to prove he can cut it away from Parkhead.

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Celtic

Celtic flop Saidy Janko tasked with replacing Diego Dalot at Porto

The Swiss defender struggled at Celtic but now finds himself at Porto.

Mathew Nash

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Not many fans at Celtic have particularly missed Saidy Janko since he left the club.  The promising Swiss right-back had joined the club from Manchester United in 2015 with a reputation as one of his country’s top young talents.

His career at Celtic was decimated by a knee injury that October.

The following campaign, under new management in Brendan Rodgers, it became clear he was not in the first-team picture. A mixed spell on loan at Barnsley followed. Last summer, with Janko nowhere near the first-team picture, Celtic flogged him to French side Saint-Etienne for an undisclosed fee.

(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Now, he is on the move again. Despite only playing in three of Les Verts final 18 games of the season, the Swiss defender has been handed a lifeline by Portuguese giants Porto.

They lost their star right-back this summer, somewhat ironically to Janko’s former side Manchester United. Diego Dalot joined United in a £19 million deal earlier this month, with Jose Mourinho quoted by the BBC as calling him ‘the best young full-back in Europe’.

So Janko has quite some boots to fill.

Celtic fans will be amazed he is being given this chance, as will those at Barnsley and Saint-Etienne. But nobody will begrudge him a turnaround in fortunes.

Who knows? Perhaps his path will cross with Celtic in Europe one day.

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