The probability of Celtic signing Liam Donnelly in the January transfer window seems slim after the Northern Ireland midfielder dismissed reports linking him with a move to Parkhead.
Earlier this week, Belfast Live claimed that the Hoops have been monitoring the Motherwell player with an eye to potentially signing him this month. However, the 23-year-old has since dismissed talk of a possible Fir Park exit.
He told The Scottish Sun: “I saw the links with Celtic, but they are just rumours. I don’t think there is too much in it. It’s flattering. It’s nice when you are linked with other teams. It shows you are doing all right and performing well. But I am fully focused on Motherwell and I need to keep trying to perform.”
The versatile Donnelly is enjoying a fine season with Motherwell, with 10 goals for Stephen Robinson’s side in the current campaign having been deployed chiefly in midfield. The 23-year-old has played mostly as a defender during his career so far but the switch to a more advanced position is one to which he has responded with considerable effect.
He has played mainly as a defensive or central midfielder this season, a position in which Celtic are set to strengthen their options once the signing of Ismaila Soro is completed pending international clearance (as per celticfc.net). That is also the position where Hoops captain Scott Brown has been a near-constant presence in the team, with 31 starts and four goals to his name so far in 2019/20.
While Donnelly has been scoring with regularity in recent months, he has also had an alarming tendency to get on the wrong side of referees. He has been booked 10 times already this term, with yellow cards in each of his last four Premiership matches after also being cautioned in his first five league appearances of the season. He has picked up one yellow card every 178 minutes thus far in 2019/20, which effectively equates to a booking every two matches. [via TransferMarkt]
Donnelly’s disciplinary record is one that could have caused problems for Celtic had he pitched up at Parkhead, while the impending arrival of Soro also lessens the need for a defensive/central midfielder to be signed.
Also, while the Motherwell man has a fine scoring record, the Hoops do not lack for goals from midfield – Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor, Olivier Ntcham, Brown and Tom Rogic have already scored 35 times between them this season. Therefore, Donnelly’s dismissal of the reports linking him in Celtic should not unduly affect the Hoops, given how adequately stocked they already are in his position.
Celtic fans, what do you make of Donnelly refuting the transfer reports linking him with a switch to Parkhead? Comment below with your views!
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