Is Scott Sinclair the man Celtic needed to get them into the Champions League?
Scott Sinclair has become a hero to Celtic after recently transferring to the club for £3.5million from Aston Villa. The 27-year-old forward is the latest addition to Brendan Rodgers squad and he teams up again with the Hoops boss, having previously worked with him at Swansea City, when, by his own admission, he played his best football.
Sinclair made a memorable start to his Hoops career on Sunday when he came off the bench to score the late winner in a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership victory over Hearts at Tyncastle. Which was only hours after his four-year deal was confirmed.
His instant impact on Celtic has left everyone wondering: is Sinclair the man Celtic needed to get them into the Champions League?
Sinclair has made only one appearance in the Champions League before, in a dead rubber for Man City against Borussia Dortmund four years ago. But now he reckons Rodgers it the man to get his career back on track, especially after making a flying start after netting the winner on his debut on Sunday.
He is now ready to emerge as a key player for the Hoops later this month when they take in Israeli champs Hapoel Beer Sheva in the play-off round of Europe’s top club competition.
Even in Wednesday’s match against Motherwell with a 5-0 victory, much of Celtic’s irresistible pace and penetration was provided by the winger, and it is starting to look like he could wreak untold havoc against Scottish defences. A solitary strike was modest reward for his efforts.
Celtic fourth goal, which came only two minutes after a 61-minute strike that brought greatest acclaim from the home punters, was long overdue after Sinclair’s teasing and tormenting across the evening. He showed great poise and balance to cut inside from the left and curl an inch-perfect effort high in at the far post.
The forward has already admitted that Rodgers was a big influence on him after working with him before, and has said he wants to be able to perform at his best for his new team. He said:
“The manager had a great influence when I was at Swansea and that’s when I played my best football, and hopefully now I can get the best football out of me and get my form back out there and score goals and perform.”
“I’m just hoping to come here, score some goals, create chances and hopefully excite the fans.”
Rodger’s also singled Sinclair out for praise after yesterday’s game. He has said that the 27-year-old has brought a “dynamic shift” to the team and that they are lucky to have him.
“I thought some of our football was excellent. Tonight you probably saw a shift in the tempo of the team. When you bring someone in like young Scotty, you see a dynamic shift, with his speed and his movement.”
“We’re very fortunate to have him here. That’s the reality. He’s a Premier League player. The one thing in the Premier League down south is the speed of the game. This is a kid who set the game alight for me at Swansea.”
Whatever way you look at it, whatever the scoreline says, this is a better Celtic team than the one in May. The movement of their front three is irresistible at times. Whether or not Motherwell can claim to have made much progress is another matter.
In Pogba terms, the fee that Celtic paid for the former Aston Villa man is minuscule; in SPFL terms it’s a small fortune. Although it’s still early, the cautious evidence of his first two games suggests that for Celtic this was definitely money well spent.
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