Celtic Rebuild: Another out of contract option, Nick Powell – Time to try again?

Celtic have suffered this season when it comes to players uncertain of their future. There is an argument to say that only Kris Ajer has really delivered consistent performances whilst certain others perhaps with one eye on the exit have dropped their standards and performances as a result.

As such when it comes to looking for replacements for some of our want-away stars it is worth looking to those who despite uncertainty over new deals continue to perform admirably for their current clubs.

One player currently out of contact in June and with financial uncertainty surrounding his future, due to his clubs attempts to adhere to financial fair play rules, is Stoke City’s Nick Powell.

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Photo: Simon Traylen

The attacking midfielder in the final year of his contract and having apparently attracted interest from Celtic back in 2019 when leaving Wigan, has put the uncertainty of his contract situation behind him and continued to put in the performances, all the while playing for a Stoke City side under manager Michael O’Neill who have created and art form from defensive inconsistency.

The former Manchester United player and England Under 21 international has managed a respectful 12 goals in 39 games from midfield for a struggling Stoke City this season, and for a Celtic side looking for some right footed balance in midfield he certainly ticks a lot of boxes.

Powell is predominately a central attacking midfielder however there is a degree of versatility in his positioning having performed as a second striker, number 10 as well as on both the right and left wings and even as an out and out striker.

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Photo: John Potts

As Celtic look to rebuild almost an entire squad to get Nick Powell and with it his versatility could be a clever bit of business.

Since signing for Stoke City Powell has made 72 appearances, scored 17 goals and assisted another eight more. Add this to his spell with Wigan, prior to signing on at the Bet 365 Arena, returned 41 goals from 140 appearances and another 18 assists, it appears the player labelled a flop at Manchester United is clearly making up for lost time.

It may well be signing for such a big club so young after an impressive 16 goals and eight assists with first club Crewe Alexandra, as well as dealing with some tough times when side-lined by injury played its part, but considering he was only given nine starts at Old Trafford it is hard not to argue he never really had the opportunity to show his worth.

Powell is one of 20 Stoke City players out of contract at the end of the season and the club need to move on a lot of those players, many who remain on Premier League wages, off their books to adhere to financial fair play rules. This is the current hold up in offering their star man a new deal, and with no guarantees Michael O’Neill will have any takers for his earning out of contract players it is hard to guess if Stoke will even be in any position to offer the midfielder a new deal any time soon.

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Photo: Barrington Coombs

If Celtic are starting to get to work behind the scenes targeting new players alongside the expected arrival of the new manager any day now, then Nick Powell seems the sort of player who is a consistent scorer of goals, even in a struggling team.

With David Turnbull likely to be the only real attacking midfielder capable of playing the number 10 role at Celtic next season, the arrival of Nick Powell to add some competition, as well as being versatile enough to play alongside the former Motherwell star, and of course offer some guidance makes a great deal of sense.

Powell would certainly be a welcome addition to the Celtic squad. At 27 years old and currently earning around £17,000 per week Celtic would be getting a player out of contract, hitting his peak years and on a wage that could easily be negated by not having to shell out a transfer fee. There’s a lot to like, and with Stoke City in a transfer limbo now could be the time to steal a march.

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.


  1. Decent analysis… except that his contract still has a year to go. It’s not 2022 just yet, just feels like it.

  2. Nick Powell has one more year left on his contract if Celtic want him they will have to pay Stoke City for the pleasure of his company .