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Celtic signing this 19-year-old Sheffield Wednesday starlet would be a great long-term move

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Liam Shaw of Sheffield Wednesday reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County at Hillsborough Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Why Liam Shaw would be a good long-term signing for Celtic

According to The Athletic (Subscription Required) (h/t The Star), Celtic have been credited with an interest in Sheffield Wednesday prospect Liam Shaw as Neil Lennon looks to plan for the future.

The 19-year-old’s current contract at Hillsborough is due to expire at the end of the season. He has been offered fresh terms to extend his stay with the Owls but is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. Shaw’s unresolved contract scenario has put Celtic on red alert. (The Athletic h/t Star)

Profile

A youth exponent of Sheffield Wednesday, Liam Shaw has been with the club since he was eight years old. He signed his first professional contract in December 2018 before heading out on loan to Chesterfield in the non-league arena to further his development. 

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Liam Shaw of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough at Hillsborough Stadium on December 29, 2020, in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The highly-rated defensive midfielder made his competitive debut for the Owls against QPR in the Championship towards the end of the 2019-20 season. Shaw only featured twice last term but has made much more of an impression in the ongoing campaign. 

The 19-year-old has made 12 appearances in all competitions so far this season, including seven starts in the Championship. Shaw registered his first senior goal in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough back in December last year. 

More competition for places?

Celtic aren’t really short of cover in the middle of the park but they can still do with some fresh additions to their squad with an eye on the future. Scott Brown is nearing his twilight at 35 and is out of contract next summer. It’s unclear whether he will be offered an extension by the Hoops after struggling for form this season.

EXETER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: Callum Paterson of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates with Liam Shaw after scoring their team’s second goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Exeter City and Sheffield Wednesday at St James Park on January 09, 2021, in Exeter, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the future of Oliver Ntcham also remains up in the air. The Frenchman has found regular playtime hard to come by this season, having featured as a key squad player for the Hoops in the previous campaigns. The former Man City starlet has been touted for a return south of the border amid interest from the Premier League clubs.

Ismaila Soro’s emergence has been a rare positive in what has been a dismal campaign for Neil Lennon’s side so far. The Ivorian has usurped Brown in the pecking order with some impressive displays over the past month or so. However, Celtic would need at least another defensive midfielder to compete with Soro if Brown ends up departing Parkhead.

Shaw a star in the making

Putting things into context, Liam Shaw ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door as an excellent long-term addition to Celtic’s ranks. The youngster has enjoyed an impressive breakout season in the EFL Championship this term, earning rave reviews for his potential. 

EXETER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: Josh Key of Exeter City is tackled by Liam Shaw of Sheffield Wednesday during the FA Cup Third Round match between Exeter City and Sheffield Wednesday at St James Park on January 09, 2021, in Exeter, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The 19-year-old’s unresolved contract scenario at Hillsborough presents an excellent market opportunity for Celtic to exploit. That he’s already featuring prominently at the senior level, despite his tender years, speaks volumes of his development.

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Celtic should, therefore, jump at the chance to nab the teenager on a free transfer next summer. He looks more than capable of competing with Soro for a place in Celtic’s midfield, with Brown’s departure looking imminent.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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