Scottish football, rightly or wrongly, has received plenty of criticism in the last decade or so. There have been grumbles about the overall decline in quality, the lack of competition in the top flight and the continued failure of the national team to qualify for a major tournament.
However, it’s not all bad news. Celtic starlets Kieran Tierney and Moussa Dembele, 20 and 21 respectively, have been making waves in Glasgow for over a year now, and are starting to attract the interest of several of the top sides south of the border.
The Daily Record reported that a staggering 17 English clubs were attending Celtic’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday, with the aim of watching Tierney and Dembele showcase their prowess on the continental stage.
Tierney has played for the Hoops from a young age and has quickly become a fans’ favourite. If the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool or Tottenham are looking to sign the full-back, they would have to pay a significant amount. The young defender, who has already had the honour of captaining Celtic, recently signed a six-year contract with The Hoops.
Celtic bagged themselves a bargain last summer when they signed Dembele from Fulham for a measly £500,000. He proceeded to bag 32 goals in the 2016/17 season and was a driving force behind their unbeaten season, in which they secured a fine domestic treble.
His progress has stalled this season due to injury problems, but he was still called up to France’s pre-squad for their friendly against Germany. Given the talent within the current French forward line, it shows just how highly regarded the young striker is.
Unfortunately, Celtic have a recent track record of failing to hold onto their best players. Virgil Van Dijk didn’t last long before he was shipped off to Southampton, whilst Gary Hooper, who terrorised Scottish defences for three years, was only able to secure an underwhelming transfer to Norwich City.
Manchester United would be a plausible destination for Tierney, as Jose Mourinho needs a natural left-back after freezing out Luke Shaw.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp seems unconvinced by Daniel Sturridge, whilst Roberto Firmino is not a natural centre-forward. Along with young England starlet Dominic Solanke, Dembele could be a successful leader of Liverpool’s forward line for years to come.
Are Scotland set to lose yet more talent to their richer, more powerful, neighbours?