Sean Maguire was scoring at such a remarkable rate for Cork City last season that scouts from Scottish Champions Celtic became regular visitors to the League of Ireland side.
The Scottish Sun report that Maguire was on Celtic’s radar and it’s no wonder why. In total, the Republic of Ireland Under-23 star scored 52 games in 68 games for Cork – a remarkable tally that perhaps explains why his president at former club Waterford likened him to none other than Lionel Messi in 2013, as reported by the BBC.
Celtic, however, were beaten to the punch by Preston North End. And with Maguire netting four goals and producing three assists in a hugely promising start in the English Championship following his bargain £130,000 move (The Sun), it appears that, for once, The Bhoys have missed out on a real star of the future.
Though Celtic could perhaps compensate for their failure to lure Maguire to Parkhead by landing another of Ireland’s most exciting young prospects in the New Year.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Celtic, along with Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City, are interested in George Sykes, a 20-year-old midfielder who plays for Glentoran in the Northern Irish Premier League.
Sykes has caught the eye for his performances at both club and international level, the midfielder earning rave reviews with the Northern Ireland’s Under-21s.
And considering how quickly Maguire has adapted to life across the sea, Celtic should make sure that they do not miss out on another of Ireland’s rising stars.