Peter Lawwell’s ‘big mistake’ at Celtic was failing to secure the signings of Ivan Toney and John McGinn.
That’s according to former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie, speaking to Football Insider.
It was confirmed in January that chief executive Lawwell would retire this month after 17 years at Celtic.
Celtic looked to sign McGinn from Hibernian back in 2018 but saw three bids rejected before he ultimately joined Aston Villa, then in the Championship (via Daily Record).
Three years on, the Scottish international is now valued at £27million by Transfermarkt.
Toney, meanwhile, visited Celtic’s training ground last summer, but the club decided not to make a formal move for the striker.
And he showed them what they were missing with a starring role in Brentford’s promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
McAvennie has been left to rue the failure to do these two deals, pointing out that Celtic could have generated an immense profit.
He did, however, say he was satisfied with Lawwell’s approach overall.
“The big ones for me are Ivan Toney and John McGinn,” he said. “He had the chance to sign both of them, they are worth £70million or something now, easy.
“That’s Lawwell’s big mistake. I wanted him to spend the money, we all did. Sometimes you have balance the books.
“Whether it’s right or wrong, I’m happy with what he’s done. Celtic were making money, there’s not many clubs doing that.”
In the case of McGinn, ultimately the player made the decision to go to Villa Park rather than wait for Celtic. Perhaps he saw a clear route to the Premier League, and that was where he truly wanted to be.
But they should really be kicking themselves over Toney. To invite him to Lennoxtown and then opt against pursuing a move was a glaring misstep.
Celtic would have had a ready-made successor for Odsonne Edouard on their hands, someone more than capable of putting up numbers in his bracket.
And, as McAvennie notes, they could have eventually cashed in when offers arrived from the Premier League.
In other news, Celtic have been linked with a move for this EPL goalkeeper.
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