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Saints Could Raid Celtic Again !
Monday, 11th Jun 2018 09:36

Saints could be about to shop in Glasgow again after Celtic deciding to cut their losses and run on a player that Saints tried to sign last summer.

A year ago Saints were chasing Celtic's Stuart Armstrong but were rebuffed by the Scottish club in a scenario that could draw parallels with the Virgil Van Dijk situation also happening at the same time on the South Coast.

Certainly Saints seem to have shopped at Celtic Park as often as Liverpool have presented their credit card at the St Mary's checkouts in recent years.

Armstrong was highly rated last summer and attracted interest from several Premier League clubs including Saints who were said to be favourites to sign him, but as Saints did with Virgil Van Dijk , Celtic stood firm and hoped the player would accept the situation.

In 2016/17 Armstrong scored 15 SPL goals for the Hoops in only 31 games, but this year he did not have anywhere near as much impact leading to accusations that his heart wasn't as in it as much as it had been, he appeared in 24 Scottish Premier League games, but only a little over half of them were in the starting line up and he scored only 3 times.

Now with only a year of his contract left Celtic are ready to listen to offers for the player rather than lose him on a free transfer in a year's time.

Armstrong is predominantly a central midfielder which suggests that Saints are ready to ship a player or two out of their own options in that area.

The question will be what his cost will be, according to transfermakt his value is only around £2 million but Celtic will be looking for much more than that for a player whom the same data site ranks 349th in Europe for central midfielders.

Suggestions are that Saints will face competition from both Crystal Palace & Brighton and the bidding will start at around the £5 million mark, but how much higher anyone will be willing to go will soon be found out.

At 26 Armstrong is approaching the peak of his career and fits the bill for players whom Saints like to sign, but although Saints have raided Celtic before with varying success, there is a massive gulf in the standard between the English and Scottish Premier League's and it would be a gamble unless it was truly a bargain price.

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underweststand added 10:11 - Jun 11
Buying again from Celtic-why not?. Celtic have always been willing to listen to our offers whereas many Prem.clubs think the level of SPL is too low, and that players won't "make it" at the highest level.

There are always "diamonds in the dust"...Mane couldn't get a regular spot at his parent club , before coming to Saints (and the rise of Deli Ali from L1 to England side is typical),

The £5 million buy for Jan Bednarek looked like a chance, but even he could hardly have dreamed of a World Cup place when he was playing the occasional game for our U23's in the Spring. Armstrong is an experienced player .. good enough to get Scottish caps (even if they aren't world beaters) ...and for the fee being quoted's surely a "no brainer".

Yes.. you take a gamble, but we're not talking £15 million.. but maybe £5 million .
This one isn't a's a gold-played opportunity when you look at today's prices.


petedoors1 added 10:41 - Jun 11
Get him in and JWP out

patred added 10:53 - Jun 11
no sell on clause this time

unwantedprophet added 11:31 - Jun 11
Stuart Armstrong was in the same situation last year. The only way he is going anywhere is for Champions League Football. At the final whistle of Celtic's last qualifying game Brendan walked up to Stuart and said, "Are you going to sign now?" Stuart nodded in response. Oh and he was injured last season and spend time on an operating table, so this story has left out some important information. I suspect Celtic are a happy to do business with any club that offers the kind of fee a two-footed International and Champions League experienced player is worth.

dirk_doone added 14:57 - Jun 11
underweststand, you always seem to be a cheerleader for Les Reed. You say "There are always "diamonds in the dust"...Mane couldn't get a regular spot at his parent club , before coming to Saints (and the rise of Deli Ali from L1 to England side is typical)."

Both of them were spotted by our former head of recruitment, Paul Mitchell, who is now at RB Leipzig, and Mane made 50 first team appearances for RB Salzburg the season before we signed him. He was their star player and top goal scorer. Armstrong made just 15 Scottish League appearances last season and has been out for months with hamstring, groin and knee injuries ovr the last 4 seasons. He is a mediocre player and reminds me more of Neil McCann than Sadio Mane.

SanMarco added 15:16 - Jun 11
Unless I am forgetting someone we have signed 2 from Celtic and Liverpool have had 6 off us so no real comparison.

Is this bloke any better than the likes of Boufal and Tadic? No, I didn't think so - let Brighton have him.

the_saint added 16:49 - Jun 11
4 I think SanMarco Fraser,Victor, vvd and I think svenson

the_saint added 16:54 - Jun 11
Sorry not svenson it was Hooiveld

SanMarco added 22:00 - Jun 11
Ah yes, thanks, of course Forster too. Hooveld feels like a long time ago but ok I withdraw my comment! Not the bit about not wanting to sign this bloke though...

underweststand added 08:17 - Jun 12
to San Marco...
Firstly, (memory error), I confused my Mane comment with the situation where he " went on strike " and refused to play - in an attempt to force a move away from Red Bull.

However, I sense that we have had a source of recruits from Celtic ..(and even Chelsea) over the last 10 years - perhaps we have one of two regular scouts who keep a weather eye on their club talents. Of course, we've rarely had any trafiic in the opposite direction.

A supporter of Les Reed(?).. No ..but I have respect for someone who survived the " Cortese purges " and has (for the most ) overseen our subsequent years in the Prem.

Mistakes yes, of course, but hopefully the club has learned by them, and there have been a lot of good buys along the way...but in general I think the good outways the bad.
Maybe after he retires... a few people may look to Brutus' words about the dead Caesar.

dirk_doone added 11:02 - Jun 12
underweststand, respect to you for your reply. I think the club needs a massive clearout of the dead wood at the top, not just Les Reed but also some of his appointments, like Ross Wilson.

Our former Head of Recruitment, Paul 'Black Box' Mitchell was the real man behind our success. It's all gone down hill rapidly since he left.

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