Why Scott Hogan could be a decent signing for Celtic in January
According to TEAMtalk (h/t Birmingham Live), Celtic have been linked with a January move for Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan, who has spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Stoke City in the EFL Championship.
The 27-year-old, who completed a £12 million move to Aston Villa from Brentford back in 2017, has scored 10 times in 61 appearances for the Villans across all competitions and spent the second half of the previous campaign on loan at Sheffield United in the Championship, scoring twice in eight appearances to aid the Blades’ surge for promotion.
Hogan was once again farmed out on loan this past summer after Villa secured promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs. The Irishman has scored only thrice for the Potters in the second-tier so far this term, starting only four games and featuring as a substitute on a further nine occasions.
The Salford-born former non-league star has slipped even further down the pecking order at the bet 365 Stadium following the arrival of Michael O’Neill, who has only used him once since November. As per the report, Hogan is keen to kickstart his career elsewhere and Celtic are prepared to give him that opportunity.
Meanwhile, Celtic are understandably looking to beef up their artillery heading into the crucial second half of the campaign, having already bagged the Betfred Cup crown this term.
With arch-rivals Rangers pretty much going toe-to-toe in the title race after a victory in the Old Firm derby in December, the reigning champions certainly need to have all their bases covered in their pursuit of nine-in-a-row on the domestic front.
Celtic will also need to cope with the challenge of playing in the knockout rounds of the Europa League and with fixtures set to come thick and fast during a hectic second half of the campaign, Lennon should be wise enough to add some much-needed depth to his ranks.
Edouard continues to be Celtic’s go-to man for goals week in, week out, but lack of a reliable understudy could come back to haunt them in the coming months if the Frenchman were to go through an injury lay-off. Leigh Griffiths and Vakoun Issouf Bayo have both failed to step up so far, leaving Lennon with very little cover in front of goal.
To put things into perspective, Scott Hogan has struggled to live up to the expectations following his move to Aston Villa but his previous heroics at Brentford in the EFL Championship suggests that the Irishman could be ideal to answer Celtic’s prayers for a back-up to Edouard.
The 8-cap Republic of Ireland international bagged 21 goals in 36 games for Brentford between 2014 and 2017 and while his career has failed to take off at Villa Park due to lack of regular opportunities, Hogan still has plenty of time at 27 to find his feet elsewhere.
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Looking at things from the player’s perspective, Hogan certainly needs a change of surroundings to rediscover himself as a striker.