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Celtic

Letting Liam Henderson go cheap looks like it may haunt Celtic

Celtic sold Liam Henderson at a bargain price to Italian side Bari in January.

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Photo: Getty Images

January saw Celtic decide to move one of their younger talents on. Liam Henderson was the player in question, with the chance of first-team football at Parkhead looking increasingly unlikely. 

After not making the grade at Celtic, Henderson’s next destination surprised many. The 21-year-old headed to Italy, joining Serie B side Bari in mid-January.

Bari have a history of signing British players. The likes of Aston Villa legend Gordon Cowans, Everton’s 1995 FA Cup hero Paul Rideout and former England star David Platt are all former Bari players.

But Henderson was the first Brit to join the side for a generation. Therefore joining the Italian’s, currently managed by 2006 World Cup hero Fabio Grosso, certainly came as a shock.

(Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Even more shocking? The price-tag that has been unveiled by the Serie B promotion chasers.

Bari’s sporting director Sean Sogliano explained, as quoted by the Daily Record:

“Liam Henderson’s transfer was seven months in the making for us.

“We ended up signing him for only €130,000 [£115,000]. Last year we were told he would cost €2 million [£1.77 million].”

The fee has certainly concerned Celtic fans. Many cannot believe the Bhoys sold Henderson for such an alarmingly low fee. Now it is looking like it may come back to haunt them.

Mistake?

Henderson has hit the ground running at Bari. At the weekend he scored his first goal for the club. In doing so he became the first Scot to score in Italian football since Graeme Souness for Sampdoria. Henderson also provided the assist as Bari overcame Ternana 2-1.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic were aware of his talent. The playmaking forward performed well on previous loan spells at Rosenborg and Hibernian there was just simply no room for him in Glasgow and his future did seem away from the club.

His contract at Celtic was due to end in the summer. It appears the club decided to cash in for as little as they could, rather than lose him to a foreign club for nothing.

Such savvy transfer market working makes sense on a business level. However, given how well the forward has started at Bari, and his young age, Celtic could be left ruing the measly fee they received for their homegrown talent in the future.

Celtic

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers should rekindle Martin Odegaard interest this summer

The Real Madrid wonderkid trained with Celtic boss Rodgers at Liverpool back in 2014.

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Celtic will be looking to continue improving their side this summer, with reasons to be fearful of some of the other teams around them catching up. Despite their recent humiliation, Rangers have improved this season. Aberdeen remain strong whilst Neil Lennon and Steve Clarke are working wonders at Hibernian and Kilmarnock respectively.

So this summer, some new faces can be expected at Parkhead. With rumours of Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair potentially seeking pastures new and Patrick Roberts’ loan spell coming to an end, attacking midfield might be an area Celtic look to improve.

One player who Brendan Rodgers wanted before could be the perfect option this summer. The player in question is Martin Odegaard.

(<> at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 23, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.

Dubbed a wonderkid after making his senior Norway debut aged 15, plenty of teams from across Europe wanted the attacker in 2015. One such club was Celtic, as reported by the Express. Managed by his former Stromsgodset boss Ronny Deila, interest from Glasgow made perfect sense.

Another team interested were Liverpool. As reported by the Daily Mail, the talented teen even trained with the first-team at Melwood in 2014.

In the end, Odegaard moved to Real Madrid but has found life difficult in Spain. Last winter he was sent out on an 18-month loan deal to Heerenveen. That deal in the Netherlands is now coming to an end and Real will likely look to loan out the Norwegian again this summer. The 19-year-old still does not look up to the standard necessary to be a regular for the Spanish side.

Celtic would be the perfect location for the player.

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Firstly, after playing in the Dutch league, Odegaard will be able to handle the similar level of Scottish football.

Then there is the fact Rodgers is clearly a fan. The Northern Irishman was keen on bringing him to Anfield, so bringing him to Celtic would be a no-brainer.

Then there is the commercial impact of such a move. Odegaard is still big news and many would follow Celtic’s progress to see if they can get the best out of the Norwegian starlet.

As for Odegaard, he would also have some welcome company. 20-year-old compatriot Kristoffer Ajer is a good friend of the Celtic defender, who has come on leaps and bounds under the guidance of Rodgers.

His time in Holland has been a learning curve but a move to Celtic looks like it would suit Odegaard much better.

It would be a perfect chance for Odegaard to remind the football world just why he was the most wanted player on the planet four years ago.

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Arsenal

Despite Celtic success, Arsenal should avoid Brendan Rodgers

Arsenal will be faced with looking for a new manager this summer.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

The end had been coming for a long time, but it was a surprise on Friday when Arsene Wenger announced he would be standing down as Arsenal manager.

The tributes quickly followed and a manager that had cut a sorry figure for the past few seasons was forgotten. Instead, his successes and impact on English football became the focus.

It is too soon to tell who the club’s priority target is to replace their legendary manager, but the early favourite with the bookies is Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman is arguably the best British coach in football at the moment and his experience at two big clubs, Liverpool and Celtic, puts him in contention for the Arsenal job.

The Celtic majority shareholder has already commented on the rumours and told Sky Sports that the club wouldn’t stand in Rodgers’ way if he wanted to move back to the Premier League with Arsenal:

“I’m glad he’s the favourite. He’s an outstanding person. We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. Hopefully, his love for the club and the setup here will enduce him to stay at the club.”

Although they provide a good starting point, the odds from various bookmakers aren’t reliable at this stage of the recruitment process. It would be expected that Arsenal have a number of managers in mind, but there is a long way to go before an appointment is made.

A number of the media have already talked up Rodgers as the best candidate for the role, due to his style of football and experience at two big British clubs. At Liverpool, he came close to winning the club’s first Premier League title during the 2013-14 season and got the team playing some excellent football.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 45-year-old has continued to impress with Celtic as he guided the club to an unbeaten domestic season during his first year in charge. There are question marks over the quality of the Scottish League, but Rodgers has stood out as the best manager the club have had in a number of years.

In addition to the domestic success, he has overseen some good performances in Europe, albeit their overall achievements on the continent have been modest.

By being the best British candidate, there will be a lot of people pushing for Rodgers to get the job, but it would be a poor appointment by Arsenal.

Despite his Liverpool teams playing some exciting football, he failed to win a single trophy during his time at Anfield. He came close to lifting the Premier League title, but in hindsight, the reason for that was the genius of Luis Suarez and goal-scoring form of Daniel Sturridge rather than the influence of Rodgers.

The best managers deliver results on a regular basis and can establish their team as regular contenders. The 2013-14 season will be remembered fondly by Liverpool fans, but their failure to build on it didn’t reflect well on Rodgers. They were quickly knocked out of both the Champions League and the Europa League before limping along to a 6th place finish.

During his time at Anfield, Rodgers did okay without ever looking like he belonged at one of England’s biggest clubs. His success at Celtic has seen him repair his reputation, but it is a huge change to go from being the dominant team in Scotland to rebuilding Arsenal.

The Gunners need to bring in a proven winner to instantly win over the players and have the authority to rebuild the club from top to bottom. Rodgers isn’t that man. He needs to show he can win major honours outside of Scotland before being considered for a top Premier League job again.

This summer is too soon for him and Arsenal would be foolish to consider him as an option.

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Celtic

Celtic linked with Keiren Westwood, who snubbed Brendan Rodgers in 2015

The Sheffield Wednesday stopper rejected a move to Liverpool back in January 2015.

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Reports today are suggesting that Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could be on his way out of Hillsborough. The Sun reports that the Owls could sell the keeper this summer after an injury-ravaged campaign. The 33-year-old has not played since December and will not play again this season because of a groin strain.

Three teams have been mentioned as interested in his services and one of them will not come as a surprise. Southampton and Leeds United are chasing him in England, whilst in Scotland, it is Celtic who are being linked with a move for the experienced goalkeeper.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been here for before.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Back in January 2015, the Celtic boss was in charge at Liverpool. He had become increasingly frustrated with the performances of Simon Mignolet so decided it was time for a change. That change was to bring in Westwood.

The then 30-year-old stopper had been in fine form for Wednesday that season. Liverpool, therefore, wanted to take him to Anfield to try and improve the goalkeeper position.

But he turned the move down. As reported by The Mirror the Irishman rejected the move as he was happy with Wednesday, stating:

“They gave me the chance to kick-start my career again, and I’m really happy to be here.”

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Now Rodgers might finally have the chance to get his man.

The Republic of Ireland international would surely relish the chance to join Celtic. The Bhoys also need a new keeper, with Dorus De Vries clearly not up to the task of replacing Craig Gordon when the number one is injured. Scott Bain is currently between the sticks, but only on loan, so Westwood would be a shrewd acquisition.

Time will tell if Rodgers is left disappointed yet again.

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