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.
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.
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.
— The Celtic Star News Feed (@CelticStarMag) June 7, 2023