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Celtic: Jackie McNamara surprised by Hoops’ reported interest in Tyrese Campbell

Celtic: Jackie McNamara surprised by Hoops’ reported interest in Tyrese Campbell - Celtic

Former Celtic defender Jackie McNamara has admitted to being surprised over the club’s reported interest in teenage striker Tyrese Campbell.

The Daily Record reported earlier this week that the Hoops are keeping an eye on the Stoke youngster, who will be out of contract at his current club at the end of the season and could cost as little as £350,000 in a potential cross-border compensation deal.

However, McNamara said he was taken aback by Celtic’s pursuit of Campbell, whose father Kevin played for Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Everton and West Brom in the English Premier League.

Speaking about the 19-year-old to Football Insider, McNamara said: “I’ll be surprised if they bring him in.

“Only time will tell, would he be able to play in front of Edouard right now? He could be one for the future, so would he want to come up right now? He is young and has a good pedigree with his dad as well.”

McNamara’s scepticism over Celtic’s reported interest in the teenage striker is understandable, with Campbell having a somewhat moderate start to his professional career.

The youngster has played only 26 first team games for Stoke and scored three goals, a return of one every 8.67 appearances.

He was prolific for the Potters’ youth teams, with 28 goals in 48 games for their under-23s and nine in 12 games for the under-18s, but has found the step-up to senior football considerably tougher.

He has struggled for game-time this season in a Stoke team battling the threat of relegation to the third tier, making only four league starts for a team in the Championship drop zone and not even getting a game since the first week of November.

Also, as McNamara has pointed out, Campbell would likely find it exceptionally difficult to compete with Odsonne Edouard for the centre-forward berth at Celtic if he were to join next year, with the Frenchman hitting 14 goals in 27 games already this season (one every 1.93 games) and 47 goals in 108 Hoops appearances (one every 2.3 games).

However, McNamara has alluded to the Stoke forward’s tender years in describing him as “one for the future”, with Campbell approaching his 20th birthday and therefore having plenty of time to develop as a footballer.

At this moment he doesn’t seem ready to make his mark at Celtic if he were to join the Hoops in the next few months – the inability of another 19-year-old striker in Jonathan Afolabi to get first team minutes indicates how hard it can be for young forwards to break into the team with Edouard so prolific.

Therefore, McNamara’s surprise at the Parkhead club’s apparent interest in him is understandable, even with him being in the embryonic stages of his career.

Celtic fans, what did you make of McNamara’s opinion on the Hoops’ reported interest in Campbell? Comment below with your views!

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Article title: Celtic: Jackie McNamara surprised by Hoops’ reported interest in Tyrese Campbell

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