Celtic Opinion: Lennon reuniting with Adam Matthews could save the Hoops a fortune in the transfer window

According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic manager Neil Lennon is considering a reunion with his former Hoops star Adam Matthews, with the 27-year-old being out of contract at Sunderland this summer.

The Welshman is currently a free-agent following his departure from the Black Cats and Celtic have lined him up as a potential transfer target for the summer.

Matthews contributed with a goal and 5 assists in 23 League one appearances for Sunderland this past season, as Jack Ross’ side lost out to Charlton Athletic in the playoff finals, thus missing the chance to secure promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Matthews is not the only right-back to have been linked with a move to Parkhead, though, with the Hoops also weighing up moves for Sheffield United defender Geroge Baldock and out-of-favour Arsenal star Carl Jenkinson, The Scottish Sun understands.

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However, the same source claims that the Blades are reluctant to let the 26-year-old depart following their promotion to the Premier League, and while Baldock remains open to a move across the border, manager Chris Wilder wants to hold on to him despite facing the risk of losing him for free in a year’s time.

The Swansea-born defender rose through the youth ranks of Cardiff City and rose to prominence with the Bluebirds in the Championship during the 2009-10 season.

Matthews’ promise and potential prompted Neil Lennon, then on his first stint as the Celtic manager, to make a move for the youngster and the right-back went on to establish himself as one of the mainstays of the Hoops’ backline in the subsequent seasons.

Matthews racked up a total of 150 appearances for Celtic in all competitions, registering an impressive 5 goals and 22 assists in the process. The 27-year-old guided the Hoops to four consecutive Scottish Premiership titles from 2011 to 2015, whilst also winning the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup over the course of his trophy-laden spell at Parkhead.

The 27-year-old’s career has been in a downward spiral ever since he left Celtic to join Sunderland back in 2015. Matthews found it hard to nail down a regular starting spot at the Stadium of Light due to recurrent injuries and was shipped out on loan to Bristol City in the Championship.

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He was a regular since the start of the 2017-18 season following the Black Cats relegation from the Premier League but now that he is a free-agent, a move back to Parkhead might go a long way towards helping him rediscover his old form.

To put things into perspective, it should be an absolute no-brainer for Neil Lennon to bring back his former player to Celtic on a free transfer this summer, with the Hoops currently facing a crisis at right-back.

Matthews’ stint at the Stadium of Light might not have been that fruitful but the 27-year-old is still very much in his prime years and reuniting with him could prove to be a shrewd piece of business by Lennon.

Mikael Lustig has been Celtic’s undisputed first-choice right-back for a long time but the Swedish veteran is out-of-contract this summer and has so far refused to put pen to paper on an extension.

Former West Brom star Cristian Gamboa and Borussia Dortmund loanee Jeremy Toljan are both set to head for the exit door, meaning that the Hoops are at serious risk of being without a single senior right-back in their ranks next season.

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Hence, it is not difficult to see why the acquisition of Adam Matthews for free would save Celtic a fortune in the transfer market, whilst also being a quick one-step solution to their right-back conundrum.

The 27-year-old’s previous experience at Celtic coupled with his know-how of the Scottish game should make him a potentially risk-free signing for the Hoops.

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Celtic will be looking to complete nine-in-a-row over arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership next term and the arrival of Adam Matthews would hand the Hoops a massive boost prior to the start of the upcoming campaign.

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