Opinion – Matt O’Riley’s sights must be set higher than Southampton

Why Celtic star Matt O’Riley deserves so much better than settling for a relegation dog-fight with Southampton…

It’s been rumoured that recently promoted EPL side Southampton are considering making a £20 million bid to sign Matt O’Riley. Even their own supporters are commenting today that this is well below the price that is going to be needed to tempt Celtic but regardless of the fee it’s a proposed move that the Denmark international midfielder should body swerve as he’ll be plenty of better options coming his way this summer.

If Southampton’s bid is £20m the conversation with Celtic will be short and to the point. Thanks but no thanks.  There are two reasons for stating that. One, Matt O’Riley is worth so much more, and two, he deserves a much better opportunity than the one Southampton will have on offer.

No disrespect to the English side, and yes they may be lavish with their EPL riches, but moving to them would be a step in the wrong direction for Matt. Some down on the south coast will disagree with that, but it’s the simple truth. Matt will have multiple offers from other Premier League clubs and clubs in Spain and Italy.

We known that Atletico Madrid remain keen on the Celtic midfielder after his display in the Champions League match between the sides at Celtic Park last October.

Yes Southampton play in one of the best leagues in Europe, but is swapping winning honours and playing in the Champions League in front of 60,000 supporters for a relegation battle a step up? Of course it isn’t.

If Matt decides to leave for Southampton then it will be for financial gain and nothing else, just like the likes of Stuart Armstrong (to Southampton) and Ryan Christie (to Bournemouth)  Of course it’s entirely up to the player himself, but he would be foolish to do so. Unlike Armstrong and Christie, Matt O’Riley is attracting interest from elite clubs across the top leagues in Europe.

In every way, Matt must choose an option that rewards him financially (Southampton can tick that box) but also on a football sense as he strives to make an impact for Denmark post Euro 2024. Matt should be looking at the major honours he can win and should be going to a top end Champions League club.

The likes of Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid have been credited with an interest in Matt, with the latter having an unsuccessful bid for the Danish international in the last transfer window.

That’s the calibre of clubs that Matt should be looking to join when he inevitably leaves Celtic, not Southampton, with all due respect to the Saints.  Virgil van Dijk used Southampton as a stepping stone to elite level football after leaving Celtic for St Mary’s. Matt O’Riley doesn’t need a stepping stone to get to where he wants to be. That’s why too should be saying thanks, but no thanks to Southampton.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. Oh dear, you sound very against the mighty Saints who play premiership football as opposed to 4th rate scottish football. MWAHHHAAAAA, Just look at Scotland in the Euros, snigger snigger. Celtic only play Champions league football because there are only 2 teams in Scottish rubbish football. Now if you want to continue being Southamptons feeder club, you better hurry and sell to us.

  2. Southampton are an average EPL side at best and a feeder club to the top sides down there (see Wanyama, Van Djik, Hojbjerg, Mane, Shaw, etc.,) so it’s not a bad “stepping-stone-club”. Similar to us in that respect.

    To be honest, I don’t really care where he goes as long as we get a decent wedge. We have lost better players than Matt O’Riley.in the past.

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