IT now appears creaking central defender Sol Campbell is keen to move to Celtic after all. But if the Hoops had any sense they wouldn’t entertain him.
Campbell was in talks to come to Glasgow in the summer after being released by Arsenal after a second spell, but opted to go to Newcastle instead as he seemed to lead Neil Lennon a merry dance in the hope of staying in the English Premier League.
Now after six months on Tyneside, yielding only five appearances and a change of manager, Campbell has realised coming to Glasgow perhaps would have been a better move after all. Lennon should shut the door straight away.
Everything was more or less in place for the former England international to check in at Celtic Park, but a breakdown in terms meant he was able to seal his English Premier League return instead.
But in a time when the finances in Scotland are nowhere near their best, the last thing this country needs is a has-been centre half with a history of injuries sitting in the stand taking a big wage for doing nothing. Rest assured, that’s exactly what Campbell will do.
He’ll still trade on the fact that he’s played in a Champions League final, played in major international tournaments and has been a top defender in England’s top flight, but he’s 36 years old and if a deal is done to bring him to the SPL, what benefits would Celtic get out of him?
They are short at the back so maybe a short term measure in Campbell is the answer, but you won’t convince people you’ll get value for money when there are cheaper alternatives out there. Injuries to Daniel Majstorovic and Jos Hooiveld moving to FC Copenhagen on loan have left Lennon in a pickle defensively, with only Thomas Rogne fit.
The other obvious option is to sign Nottingham Forest’s Kelvin Wilson now rather than get him at the end of the season, even though the defender has already penned a pre-contract agreement with the Hoops.
Campbell would only look at Celtic the same way he looked at Notts County when he became their marquee signing in 2009. Granted, County were a mess with unknown owners and offered money they didn’t have so in that respect Campbell was right to walk out after one game.
But what if he doesn’t like Scotland? Would he ditch Celtic and sit around at Newcastle where new manager Alan Pardew doesn’t want him? As long as the money is in the bank account at the end of the week.
If he genuinely wants a move north, he has to treat Celtic with the utmost respect and give them 100% in every match and training session. Scotland can be an unforgiving place for big names that have come here thinking they can stroll it because the league is of an inferior quality.
Players such as Libor Sionko, Tore Andre Flo, Eyal Berkovic and Roy Keane thought they could come here and just take the money and found that sort of mentality wasn’t allowed. Campbell would face the same fate if he treated Celtic with the same attitude.
On the plus side, he would bring a wealth of experience in playing at the highest level, which is not to be sniffed at. After all, players like that don’t come around too often, but this writer reckons Lennon would be better served spending the money he would on Campbell and trying to identify a cheaper alternative.
The last thing the club needs is a Roy Keane, Robbie Keane and Craig Bellamy, all on short term costly contracts, but leave with the prestige of having played in the Hoops. Celtic deserve better than that.