This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
When Gary Hooper was signed by Celtic in 2010 for £2.61 million, some fans may have been concerned about the amount of money spent on a player performing in the English Championship at the time, per Transfermarkt. However his career at the Hoops turned out to be a great one, he was prolific north of the border and his form didn’t go unnoticed as he eventually moved on. But for the fee he left for and the success he had, Hooper turned out to be a great profit player.
The Englishman had a great record for the Scottish side, scoring a ridiculous 82 goals in 138 appearances, per Transfermarkt. These strikes were vital to the club’s success during his time at Parkhead as the Hoops won the league twice as well as the Scottish Cup twice.
Current manager Neil Lennon, who was enjoying his first managerial spell at Paradise whilst the striker was at the club, spoke about the Englishman in glowing terms and said to the Daily Mail in 2012: “If I had to put a price on Gary’s head then it would be £35 million. Even if we did receive a knock-out price for Gary, would we be able to replace him? Trust me, goal scorers of his calibre are not easy to find.”
This highlights how successful he was in Scotland and Celtic managed to make good money off of him eventually as his form attracted the attention of Premier League outfit Norwich City who paid £5.67 million for his services – meaning the Bhoys made a tidy £3.07 million profit.
It could be argued that his time in Scotland was the best spell of his career as he has failed to set the world alight in both the Premier League and the Championship since. He now plays in the first tier in Australia for Wellington Phoenix, but he will forever be remembered as a prolific frontman by those at Parkhead.
Hoops fans, did Hooper leave at the right time? Comment below!
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