“I wanted him at Celtic”, Brendan’s comments on Europa League Final star

Ademola Lookman stole the show in the Europa League Final in Dublin as his hat-trick fired Atalanta to a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. The performance of the former Charlton youth prospect has resulted in some comments about a link to Celtic coming to light.

Back in September 2021, Brendan Rodgers welcomed Lookman to Leicester City on a loan deal.

Speaking to BBC Leicester, Rodgers admitted that he wanted to sign Lookman when he was Celtic manager in his first spell.

“I wanted to take him to Celtic when he was at Charlton. I was aware of him when he was 15/16.

“He has great dribbling ability, physically he’s good, works so hard, has an eye for a goal. My hope is that he can flourish here.”

The Nigeria Internationalist would go onto make 42 appearances for Rodgers that season, scoring 8 goals and assisting 5 times. This form resulted in the Italian side swooping in to sign him – helped by their Head of Senior Recruitment Lee Congerton.

Congerton opened up about his time at Celtic, admitting that talent ID was taking place but getting deals in place struggled because of the hierarchy at the club.

“At Celtic we had no money. Peter Lawwell is a nice man, he’s an accountant. Brendan told me we needed pace and power, speed.

“We all know PSG has an amazing youth programme with players at the time who were never going to play for PSG.

“Two players we tried to sign during my time were Diaby, who is now at Aston Villa, and Nkunku who is now at Chelsea. But there were several players I didn’t want to be anywhere near and that is why I left. Peter knows that and so did Brendan.”

Rodgers and Congerton were often criticised for the calibre of some of their signings in the Irishman’s first spell. There were some good bits of business but there were plenty that left a lot to be imagined. The club must make sure that they do not make the same mistake this summer and allow Rodgers to get ‘his’ players in to allow the club to compete in Europe.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

1 Comment

  1. Would like to think that by the time the summer transfer window actually shuts, that we would have assembled the most valuable 25man squad in our history, upon financial terms?
    Not so much on the outlay, but upon the value of the overall squad?
    This should mean that the gap in quality between 1st and 2nd choice player’s been reduced, so in theory worth more value within the overall squad imo?
    Without the luxury of massive TV deals that helps finance these clubs in these bigger leagues?
    We are still forced to operate upon generating player sales to reduce that gap, but not becoming a necessity nowadays either?
    The secret still remains in the scouting and recruitment process, which can also be challenging enough, yet still room for improvements also?
    Today’s game does require a decent overall squad to allow for rotation and covering for injuries?
    Yet we still haven’t been able to manage that within the whole overlook of a squad, when depending so hugely upon our bigger players so much?
    Think Rodgers has gone a fair way to start trying to change the structure of the club, even if its got someway to go before completion imo?
    Change takes time, but winning this league this season should go someway to speeding up the whole process of where potentially Rodgers would like the club and squad to be imo?
    Still we haven’t got the luxury of making bad expensive buys for players as they will just slow the whole process down yet again?
    We can afford to take smaller hits upon player’s who don’t work out for ourselves, but some bad buys then the whole picture can change dramatically for ourselves also, and very quickly?
    We go into this summer in a far stronger position with a core of a squad already in place imo?
    This time last season there was far too much uncertainty surrounding the club, despite the winning of the historic treble?
    Should be able to identify the type of players Rodgers is looking for now, far easier than just addressing squad depth like we did last summer in terms of available squad numbers?
    The focus should be more upon quality in strengthening, yet in the markets we operate within, nothing can be taken for granted either upon the fees we might pay out?
    So getting in players to add strength to the structure of how the team set up is going to be?
    Is a much stronger position to be in than just getting in numbers to fulfil the requirements of a squad?
    I still think change has already started, even if someway to go before completion imo?
    Getting an overall long term structure in place has been missing for way too long within the club imo?
    Especially when the focus has been upon relying far to heavily upon just a team with the big individual players within it, for way too long imo?