'Could spell disaster' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Celtic last-ditch transfer swoop
Noel Whelan has claimed that Celtic could have been facing a “disaster” if they had signed Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu on deadline day.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aberdeen striker suggested that bringing in a player like the 28-year-old is always a gamble during the January transfer window.
As revealed by Football Insider on Friday, the Hoops opened talks with the Magpies over a potential loan deal for the Ghanian, but a switch failed to materialise before the deadline passed.
Speaking live on Sky Sports News during their deadline day coverage (January 31st, 4.45pm), pundit Charlie Nicholas questioned the wisdom of the Hoops moving for the wide man, claiming that he wouldn’t start “too many games” at Parkhead.
And Whelan is inclined to agree that missing out on Atsu could be a good thing for the Bhoys.
“I think you’ve got to be careful with certain players, their attitude, the way they are around the place,” he told Football Insider.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“You don’t want to bring players in if they’re not going to blend well. We know all about Atsu, very quick, tricky, but like Charlie Nicholas said, he’s correct, I don’t think he would have got in the side.
“Do you really want somebody who’s moved from a Premier League club, ousted there, to be sitting on the bench? It could spell disaster if he’s not got the right character.
“I can’t comment on his character too much, but I think sometimes it’s very dangerous, and I think sometimes you’re better off using what you’ve got at the club until the end of the season when you can really get in the player that you do want.”
Atsu has struggled to establish himself as a first team regular at St. James’ Park since Steve Bruce arrived on Tyneside.
So far this season he has made 18 appearances in the Premier League, but hasn’t started successive league games since the end of September.
In other Celtic news, Jackie McNamara tips ‘Excellent’ Hoops fringe player for rare start v Hamilton.