Transfer target Kyle Joseph is “one for the future” and not yet ready to play for a huge club like Celtic.
That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan, speaking after Football Insider revealed that the Hoops are pursuing a pre-contract for the 19-year-old striker whose current deal expires in the summer.
Celtic are long-term admirers of the youngster and approached Wigan Athletic with a view to securing his signature in January, as revealed by this site.
The Scotland Under-19 striker has scored five goals and registered one assist in 14 appearances for 23rd-place Wigan this season.
Whelan predicts that, if a transfer materialises, Joseph will take up to a year to get his feet under the table.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “He’s young and has experience in League One. It’s a risk, of course, can he make that leap up to the Scottish Premiership?
“Can he deal with the pressure of being at a big club like Celtic? No disrespect but he’s at Wigan. It’s not a huge club and never has been.
“There are a lot of things that come with moving to a massive club like Celtic. We’ll have fans back in the stadium next season. The pressure’s gonna be on. You can do it in the third-tier, but can you do it on a bigger stage? These are things that need to be taken into consideration.
“Is he one that needs a good year to bed himself in, a bit like Geldhardt at Leeds? Then once he gets to know the club and know the environment better, then maybe he can step in maybe after a year. One for the future.”
Celtic are in a period of upheaval after manager Neil Lennon resigned on Wednesday.
John Kennedy, Lennon’s assistant manager since 2019, was made interim manager and is among the favourites to take the job on a permanent basis.