I would rather lose Matt O’Riley than Reo Hatate this summer, that’s for sure

As reported yesterday on The Celtic Star, transfer expert and guru, Fabrizio Romano has stated that there is a growing interest in Celtic midfielder, Matt O’Riley. O’Riley was an astute acquisition when he joined the club in the January transfer window of 2022 under previous manager, Ange Postecoglou, for just £1.5 million.

Matt O’Riley during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Celtic FC and Shakhtar Donetsk,, on October 25, 2022. ) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

After a failed pursuit of Australian midifelder, Riley McGree, the club turned their attention to the former Fulham academy man who was tearing it up down in England’s League One. With a swift move to fend off any other possible interest, we acquired the youngster in what was a major coup for the Hoops at the time and still has proved to be.

O’Riley is a great player who understands the game really well, with an ability to read passes and movement of both his own and opposition players. His spell when Callum McGregor suffered that knee injury in the Champions League group stages this season was admirable and he gave his all during a time in which the team really needed him to step up to the mark.

Unfortunately after this, he went off the boil somewhat and apart from sporadic spells inbetween, he hasn’t managed to replicate that form during the second half of the campaign this year in the domestic scene. Aaron Mooy really flourished after the World Cup too and this probably hasn’t helped his confidence too much sitting on the sidelines and watching the Aussie in full flow.

However, heading into next season, if given the choice between losing Matt and losing Reo Hatate, I’m afraid it is an absolute no-brainer for me. Hatate’s ceiling is higher for me, and although Matty is younger than him at just 22-years-old, I still firmly believe that we cannot afford to lose Reo under any circumstances this summer transfer window.

You seen the dearth in creativity when he was missing from the team as we managed to get over the line this season in the cinch Premiership campaign. When he returned it was obvious he wasn’t at the races completely again but then again, that does take time for players sometimes too after a major injury issue.

READ THIS…This is Yatao – Reo Hatate on experiences gained this season at Celtic

But make no mistake about it, if there is, as Fabrizio Romano says, “strong interest” in Matt O’Riley this close season, I would be more than willing to sanction a deal if we’re making another fantastic profit on a player we originally got for buttons, whilst at the same time, protecting the possibility that Reo Hatate is staying at Celtic Park for the foreseeable future.

Paul Gillespie

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Photo imago/United Archives International 1967 European Cup Final Celtic v Inter Milan Jubilant fans of Scotland s Celtic football team carry a mock up of the European Cup round the ground after Celtic had defeated Inter Milan 2-1 in the final. 25th May 1967.

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. roger waters on

    I agree,I love Hatate who can pick a 40yard pass right on the toe of his fellow team mate without even looking.