Highly-rated Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous is good enough to join Celtic, according to a claim from coach John Hughes.
The Lowdown: Old Firm battle
The 23-year-old has matured into an impressive young player in the Scottish Premiership, becoming an undisputed key man for Hibs, despite his tender years.
The Latest: Porteous good enough for Celtic
Speaking to The Daily Record, Hughes claimed that Porteous is good enough for either club, although the same article claims that Rangers won’t sign him:
“One hundred per cent Porto has a target on his back and he’s been hard done by. But that goes with the territory of being a heart-on-sleeve, full-blooded type of player.
“Maybe that’s a reason to get out of Scotland. I don’t know. But at the same time he has been capped by Scotland because he has all those qualities.
“He has become a much better footballer over the last couple of years too. And he is still evolving and will be even better. Nothing intimidates Ryan. Going to Ibrox is not a problem for him. That’s the kind of guy you want in your team.
“A lot of people mention his temperament. If you take that out him then you’re not getting the same player.
“In terms of determination, commitment and putting your body on the line then all your best players have that edge and it’s a case of managing it. Sometimes I needed to start a fight to get wound up and get the best out of myself. Take that hunger and desire out of Porto and you don’t have the same player.
“It’s what makes him one of the favourites at Easter Road. The way he has progressed over the last couple of years he is good enough for the Old Firm. Definitely.
“I have no idea where he will end up but I’d expect it will be down south. He has all the qualities to go on and be a top, top defender.”
The Verdict: Snap him up, Hoops
Porteous could be a brilliant signing by Celtic, coming in as a talented homegrown prospect with a high ceiling in the coming years and with the added bonus of beating the Gers to his signature.
To have already played such a hefty number of games for Hibs at just 23 speaks volumes about his ability and he could provide competition for the likes of Cameron Carter-Vicker and Carl Starfelt at centre-back.
The fact that Porteous has represented Scotland at senior, Under-21 and Under-19 further highlights his quality, and considering he would be available on a free transfer in the summer, it could be a no-brainer for Celtic.