Graham Carey could hardly hide the fact that he was disappointed not to be given an opportunity to prove his worth at Celtic, as reported by Herald Scotland. Yet, six years after they let him leave for free despite having a year left on his deal, The Bhoys may finally start wondering whether they should have given their Republic of Ireland youngster more of a chance.
Carey came through the youth ranks at Celtic, working with Neil Lennon in the academy, but they appeared to have no second thoughts about letting the 22-year-old, then a left-wing back, sign a deal with St Mirren in 2011.
These days, however, Carey is a playmaker, one with a wand of a left boot. He is one of the most feared players in England’s lower divisions and, as of Thursday, a member of the PFA League Two Team of the Year.
Such recognition is just rewards for another sublime season in Plymouth green. Helping Argyle earn promotion back to the third tier with a remarkable 14 goals from midfield, there is no doubting the identity of League Two’s most gifted player.
In fact, there’s a fairly high chance Carey will stand out in the division above too. Blessed with superb vision, a deadly set-piece and the most cultured left-foot you could wish to see outside of the Premier League, the only surprise is that the 27-year-old has not been snapped up by a team higher up the hierarchy – even at Championship level.
Therefore, it’s tempting to wonder whether he could have made the grade at Celtic. Josh Windass and Matt Crooks may have struggled since swapping League Two Accrington Stanley for Rangers last summer but Carey is a cut above.
At 27, however, his dream of playing in the Celtic first-team may have died. Though at least he can take solace in knowing that he is adored by another team playing in green.