Celtic are lining up a possible mid-season move for Sheffield United striker David Parkhouse, who is currently on loan at League of Ireland club Derry City.
According to Football Insider, the teenager is out of contract at Sheffield United next summer and Celtic could try to sign him on a pre-contract in January.
Football Insider added that Parkhouse is on loan at Derry City until the end of the League of Ireland season in late October, with scouts from multiple clubs travelling to watch the player.
Parkhouse has scored 10 goals for Derry City this season, making him the joint second highest scorer in the Irish top flight for 2019, and also netted for the club in the EA Sports Cup final (the Irish equivalent of the League Cup) against Dundalk last weekend, as reported by RTE.
He has yet to feature for his parent club Sheffield United, though, where the closest he has come to getting a game is when he was named as a substitute in the Carabao Cup against Hull last season. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Despite his fine scoring form for Derry City this year, Celtic ought to look at how previously prolific target men in the League of Ireland fared upon crossing the Irish Sea.
Patrick Hoban, the current top scorer in the league with 13 goals, netted 20 times in 32 games for Dundalk in the 2014 season but subsequently scored just 12 goals in 90 appearances across four clubs in the lower echelons of the English Football League. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Hoban’s Dundalk team-mate Patrick McEleney scored 10 times in 26 league appearances for the club in 2017 before getting a move to Oldham in League One, where he played just nine times (scoring once) before returning to Dundalk. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Richie Towell, who played one game for Celtic in November 2010, hit 25 goals for Dundalk in the 2015 Premier Division before earning a move to Brighton, where he played only six times, and is now in the English fourth tier with Salford City. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
The tales of Hoban, McEleney and Towell highlight the disparity that can occur between top flight football in Ireland and the Football League in England, not to mind a club like Celtic who participate annually in European competition.
Parkhouse might be enjoying a good season at club level for Derry City, but the League of Ireland is among the weakest in Europe, lying 42nd out of 55 in the UEFA association club coefficient. Therefore, Celtic should think very carefully before committing to a deal for the teenager off the back of his Derry City form.
Celtic fans, do you think Parkhouse could be a good signing or would a 2020 move to the Hoops be too big a step-up for him? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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