Celtic FC Opinion: Hoops should hold on to Scott Sinclair at all costs
The same report claims that Preston boss Alex Neil is keen to bring Sinclair back to English football as a replacement for last season’s star attacker Callum Robinson, who has joined newly-promoted Premier League side Sheffield United this summer.
Glasgow Evening Times understands that Sinclair is unhappy with the amount of involvement in the first-team at Parkhead, with the 30-year-old yet to start a game for the Hoops this summer.
Celtic have already played three competitive fixtures this season in the Champions League qualifiers and Sinclair hasn’t started any of them, with manager Neil Lennon favouring the likes of Lewis Morgan and Mikey Johnstone ahead of the experienced star.
Sinclair, though, did sign a one-year contract extension with Celtic back in May and the 30-year-old is undeniably going to get a consistent run in the eleven once the league campaign gets underway in August, but that might not be good enough to keep him at Parkhead.
The Englishman started his career in the youth ranks at Chelsea before moving on to Swansea City in the Championship, where he single-handedly propelled the Swans to their first Premier League promotion with 19 goals in the 2010-11 season.
Sinclair followed it up with another 8 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League in the 2011-12 campaign and his impressive breakthrough season in the top-flight paved the way for a move to Man City.
That, however, proved to be the beginning of his undoing in English football, as the talented jet-heeled winger found regular minutes hard to come by and subsequently featured for West Brom and Aston Villa before flying north of the border to join Celtic in 2016.
Brendan Rodgers was the man responsible for bringing Sinclair to Scottish football and his arrival marked the beginning of arguably most successful era at Parkhead in recent times, with Celtic bagging three consecutive domestic trebles.
And Sinclair has very much been a central figure in their resounding success over the past three campaigns, as evident from the records which show that the 30-year-old has plundered 61 goals in 162 appearances in all competitions, whilst also contributing with 34 assists in the process.
Those are remarkable numbers for any player in any league and it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that Sinclair has been one of the key driving forces behind Celtic’s success on all fronts in recent times.
As a matter of fact, the 30-year-old racked up 17 goals and 6 assists the last term, so there are no signs of his age having any sort of negative impact on his returns.
Sinclair definitely still has a lot to offer at Parkhead and Celtic just cannot afford to let him leave at this point of time, given that the Hoops are already under pressure to cope with the departure of several star players from the previous campaign.
Celtic have taken significant steps towards strengthening their backline with the acquisition of Christopher Jullien, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and, while a deal for a new right-back might still be in the offing, the Hoops are yet to replace last season’s loanees Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.
James Forrest, of course, is one of the finest talents in Scotland but the reigning champions currently do not have enough quality depth in the wide positions and the departure of an established player like Scott Sinclair could leave them with a lot of work to do before the transfer deadline.
Having won their eighth straight domestic title this past season, the fans at Parkhead will be expecting their club to make it nine-in-a-row over arch-rivals Rangers next term.
Given that Rangers look all set to mount a significant title challenge next term, Celtic would need to beef up their artillery ahead of the upcoming season but, at the same time, they also need to keep hold of their existing stars.
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Sinclair has been amongst the most influential players at the club in recent times and the Hoops should fight tooth and nail to hold on to him.
In fact, Neil Lennon should reassure him that he is still has a big role to play in the upcoming season, despite not being selected in the starting eleven for the Champions League qualifiers.