Celtic 'striving' to emulate Man City amid confirmed transfer news - pundit

By Alex McLeish

7th Jan, 2022 | 1:42pm

Celtic are emulating 'world-class' Man City after latest deal is done - McLeish

Alex McLeish has suggested youngsters at Celtic are struggling with expectations at the club following Ewan Henderson’s departure.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Hoops will be “striving” to become a “world-class” centre for young talent despite their current struggles.

As confirmed on Thursday (6 January), Henderson is the latest academy product to depart Celtic, with the 21-year-old joining Hibernian.

He has joined on an initial loan which will be made permanent in the summer.

McLeish admitted the demands on Celtic’s youngsters is comparable to that at the likes of Manchester City.

He suggested Celtic will be striving to match City’s level and cited Kieran Tierney as a “gem” produced by the Hoops.

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“The levels expected of these youngsters at Celtic is pretty high,” McLeish told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

Pep Guardiola said a few years ago that Man City have a marvellous academy, but it’s just so hard for these players to get ahead of the first-teamers and into the side regularly.

“Celtic will be striving to get to that world-class level, but they are certainly international-class at the moment.

“It’s so necessary to have these academies producing players because every once in a while, you can get players coming through like Nathan Patterson at Rangers.

“Celtic have to keep striving and keep producing these players. Every so often there’ll be a gem, a real diamond.

“Kieran Tierney was the last one and he did brilliantly at Celtic. He earned them a phenomenal fee.”

The Hoops sold Tierney to Arsenal for a reported £25million.

James Forrest, Callum McGregor, Stephen Welsh, and Anthony Ralston are among the academy graduates who have starred at Parkhead this season.

In other news, pundit predicts “awful” Celtic and Rangers plan could “cause uproar” and have “massive issues”.