COMMENT By Will Butcher
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers should seriously consider the possibility of signing Callum Paterson from Scottish Premiership rivals Hearts.
The 22-year-old is one of the hottest properties in Scottish football right now, after becoming a regular on the right side of Gordon Strachan’s Scotland defence this season.
With Paterson out of contract next summer, the goalscoring right-back would be a perfect fit for Scottish champions Celtic as new signing Cristian Gamboa fails to shine.
A summer signing from Premier League outfit West Brom, Gamboa has failed to live up to the hype in Glasgow following his £1million move.
Just seven appearances in all competitions for the Costa Rica international has seen him become second-choice right-back behind Mikael Lustig, who is more comfortable in the middle of the Celtic defence.
Starring on the right side of Robbie Neilson’s defence, Paterson has scored an impressive five goals in 13 league and cup appearances as well as appearing for Scotland against Malta, Slovakia and Lithuania.
The attack-minded defender has shown maturity at the back for high-flying Hearts this term, as well as an unwavering enthusiasm to get forward which saw him also find the net seven times last season.
Born in London, Paterson is expected to go up against England’s Raheem Sterling on Friday in Group F of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Celtic boss Rodgers could be looking to compare Paterson’s performance against Sterling with that of his own right-back, as the Hoops face Sterling’s Manchester City in just under a month’s time.
Potentially available in a cut-price deal in January, or on a free in the summer, Paterson would be the perfect suit for Celtic’s attacking style.
The runaway leaders would cakewalk the league if they were able to pust through a deal in the January window.
In other Celtic transfer news, the 47-time champions are the bookies’ favourites to sign this former England star.