In the case of Lewis Morgan, Celtic look to have benefitted big-time from Rangers’ short-sightedness. The 21-year-old winger, who was released from the Gers’ youth academy back in 2013, is returning to Glasgow, but will be wearing the green of Celtic instead.
As reported by the Herald Scotland, Celtic have beaten Rangers to the signature of the St Mirren starlet, who believes working with Brendan Rodgers at Parkhead is the logical next step for his development rather than a return to his roots.
But which other former Rangers youngsters should Celtic consider luring to Parkhead?
Fleck’s former Sheffield United team-mate Stefan Scougall believes he is more than good enough to replace the metronomic Scott Brown at the heart of Scotland’s midfield.
“When people are talking about Scott Brown being missing from the Scotland squad, I’d say Flecky ticks more of the boxes to take his place than anyone else,” the St Johnstone striker told the Daily Record.
But with ‘Broony’ 32 these days, Celtic need to plan for the future too. Rodgers has been relentlessly linked with Hearts’ John McGinn but Fleck, who played 58 times for Rangers before leaving for Coventry, possesses the same rare ability to control a midfield.
Fleck has shone in a Sheffield United side aiming for successive promotions this season and is one of the few Scottish players on the market genuinely capable of stepping into Brown’s boots.
A versatile winger who never really made the grade at Ibrox, Naismith is finally starting to come into his own at Portsmouth. He’s had an up and down couple of years at Fratton Park but the 25-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career as Pompey returned to League One as Champions in 2016/17, scoring 15 often spectacular goals in all competitions.
Naismith is obviously below the level of Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and co but he still has plenty of potential and appears to be improving by the year. His versatility and ability to play in a wide variety of positions could make him a useful member of Rodgers’ side.
A genuinely wonderful talent, 16-year-old Cochrane was the star of the show as Hearts stopped Celtic’s unbeaten domestic run at 69 games on Sunday. It was the prodigious teenager who set the hosts on their way to a stunning 4-0 win with a lovely first half goal.
And it’s fair to say the Celtic fans were more than impressed by his contribution. So why Rangers decided to release Cochrane from their academy is a mystery.
Like Morgan, Cochrane is one of the most exciting Scottish youngsters around and would not look out of place at Celtic. Imagine how fearsome he would be after a few years under Rodgers’ wing.
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