Celtic look to be on the verge of making their fifth signing of the January transfer window in the form of Matt O’Riley, who has made quite an impression while playing for MK Dons. While a move has not been made official yet, it does feel like only a matter of time at this point. Although, it is understandable that many fans would be nervous until an announcement is made, after how the Riley McGree transfer saga turned out.
While most Celtic fans might not have even heard of O’Riley a few days earlier, it is not hard to see why the club have made a move for him.
He has been a standout in League One this season and at 21 years of age, would be expected to get even better moving forward. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has scored 7 goals and provided 6 assists in 30 appearances for MK Dons this season.
Peter Grant knows O’Riley well from his time coming through the youth ranks at Fulham, where he was a coach. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic legend said:
“Some people tend to forget. They look at someone and think he’s a good player, but you have to ask if he can play a certain style.
“Matt’s had two coaches who have teams that want to play. That’s the biggest thing for him, he can handle the ball well. His left foot is lovely.
“The systems suited him because he can see pictures when he’s on the ball and has goals this season with great composure.”
He also added:
“That’s the interesting thing for me talking about Celtic – the high tempo of their play and, obviously, they have watched him.
“If it works out, that is great and I’ll be happy for him and the club. You knew the talent was always there and now he’s getting the consistent games to show his talent.
“He is obviously getting the rewards with teams such as Celtic wanting him. I am delighted that Matt has done so well.”
Grant’s comments will excite Celtic fans about the O’Riley move
First things first, let’s hope that Celtic can get a deal over the line for O’Riley as soon as possible. Then it will be interesting to see if he can make the adjustment at Celtic.
There is no doubt that he has been brilliant for MK Dons in League One but one has to admit that Celtic will represent a step up for the midfielder.
Many have also questioned whether the Hoops needed to bring in another player in the middle of the park, after signing Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi this month. But it looks like Ange Postecoglou did want to have another option there and it is great to see that the club have backed him.
This article was originally posted here