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Celtic interested in 17-year-old Scottish league talent – Could this ease a key problem in the squad?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 01: Greg Stewart of Rangers vies with Aaron Hickey of Heart of Midlothian during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Getty Images)

Why Celtic must make a move for rising talent Aaron Hickey

According to Daily Mail, Scottish giants Celtic are keeping close tabs on Hearts teenager, Aaron Hickey.

The highly-rated left-back has earned rare individual success despite his side’s relegation from the Scottish Premiership this season. It has been a breakthrough campaign for the 17-year-old, who made 30 appearances for Hearts this season.

Aaron Hickey of Hearts fights for the ball with an opponent during his side's match against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium last December.
Aaron Hickey (right) of Hearts fights for the ball with an opponent during his side’s match against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium last December. (Getty Images)

A Hearts academy graduate, Hickey established himself as the side’s first-choice left-back this season, pushing the likes of senior full-backs Benjamin Garuccio and Aidy White to the sidelines.

Despite still being in his teens, Hickey has grown into his side’s key player at the back in his maiden season for the Hearts senior side. He featured 22 times for the Premiership bottom-placers and could have played in all their matches hadn’t it been for the injuries that he sustained in between.

Aaron Hickey of Hearts holds off Karamoko Dembele of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between both sides in May last year.
Aaron Hickey of Hearts holds off Karamoko Dembele of Celtic during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between both sides in May last year. (Getty Images)

However, he is entering the final 12 months of his contract with Hearts and Celtic are closely monitoring his situation. The report also suggests that the Scottish champions can land the rising talent for a fee considerably less than £1.5 million due to the pandemic coronavirus crisis.

Hickey can offer Celtic consistency at the left-back position

Despite Celtic’s success in the domestic league, they have failed to land in a regular left-back since the departure of former man Kieran Tierney to Arsenal last summer.

Neil Lennon’s side currently have three left-backs in the side, however, none of them have succeeded in nailing down the spot. Summer signings Greg Taylor and Boli Bolingoli have mostly shared the left-back duties this term with both of them making 14 league appearances so far.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon celebrates. (Getty Images)
Celtic boss Neil Lennon celebrates his side’s victory in the Scottish Premiership. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Celtic graduate Calvin Miller still remains on the sidelines. Having made just two league appearances, it is clearly evident that he is not in Lennon’s plans at the moment. Considering all this, Celtic could really do with a consistent left-back like Hickey, who has proved his mettle already with Hearts.

Moreover, he is a cheaper option for the Hoops, especially in such a tough time where every club including Celtic has been affected by the financial implications due to the coronavirus. Hence, Celtic must continue their pursuit of the talented Hickey and land him at Parkhead sooner than later.

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Verdict

Despite having three left-backs, Celtic manager Lennon’s selection gives a clear idea that he is not impressed with the full-backs in his side. The Hoops need a regular face in that role. Moreover, Hickey is still young and can develop even further under Lennon’s guidance. Thus, he could prove to be an excellent future investment by Celtic.

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