“If Sydney’s anything like his father you would take him,” Peter Grant

As the January transfer window is coming more and more into focus the closer we get to the Festive Season, naturally Celtic are starting to be linked with players from all over the world. A new name popped into the mainstream in the form of 17-year-old Cape Town Spurs striker, Luke Baartman, however, he would be more a signing with an eye to the future for sure.

Instead, one of the names that has come up lately was one that the club were linked with back in the summer before the close of business, and one which has a connection to the club already; Sydney van Hooijdonk. The Bologna striker’s father, Pierre, of course played for the club during the mid-nineties and managed to win a Scottish Cup during one of the few highlights of that era at Parkhead.

Playing in Italy currently, the attacker had a very successful loan spell at NAC Breda back in the Eredivisie, where he managed roughly a goal every two games back in Holland. Thiago Motta decided to bring him back to Serie A to see if he could cut it under his stewardship, but that hasn’t taken off and he’s looking for an escape route this winter. It’s reported widely that Brendan Rodgers and the recruitment team at Celtic Park could reignite that interest in potential loan deal.

Despite this though, former Hibs player Stephen McGinn has been talking to The Go Radio Football Show and told the tale of how Sydney nearly signed for the Leith side a few years back. “I think Celtic need to do business with Oh and Kyogo potentially not being available. He’s a name, the year I was at Hibs in the Covid season, I had a split-role with my relationship with Jack Ross doing player-coaching and he’s one that came up in the recruitment meeting.

“You are going through all them and you watch and there was no doubt he’d scored a number of goals for NAC Breda. We weren’t able to fly out to see them play, the outlay on it was quite big, Kevin Nisbet had just signed in the summer and he was flying.

“I think the circumstances, had it maybe been in a normal season, he would have been someone we might have gone for. But you are worried about bringing someone into the country, can’t go out with any of the boys, need to stay in a flat, go from training ground to flat, the difficulties of that. Now in hindsight you see the success, and wish you had just done it.

Fellow pundit and former Celtic midfielder, Peter Grant, who incidentally played alongside Van Hooijdonk senior, said of the potential move: “If Sydney’s anything like his father you would take him. I have not seen him live, little bits and bobs. Italy is slightly different, a lot of their teams the older players, serious players, play at the top end of the pitch. I am sure Celtic have done their due diligence. I always say, a Celtic striker scores 4/6 chances, minimum. You are allowed to miss two maximum. Anything below that you are probably not a Celtic striker.”

Paul Gillespie

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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.

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