Celtic could land dream Shankland alternative in swoop for £7.6k-p/w whiz

Celtic are reportedly closing in on their first signing of the January transfer window, which has been open for business for just over two weeks.

Sky Sports have claimed that Rapid Wien forward Nicolas Kuhn started his medical with the Scottish giants in London on Monday ahead of his move to the club.

The Hoops have agreed a £3m deal with the Austrian club to secure the impressive winger’s services and he is set to put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

23/24 Bundesliga

Nicolas Kuhn (via Sofascore)



Sofascore rating






Big chances created


Football Insider reported last month that Brendan Rodgers would like to sign a winger, a central midfielder, and a centre-forward during the January window, and Kuhn ticks off one of those positions.

The Northern Irish head coach could now turn his attention to landing a new number nine to compete with Kyogo Furuhashi and Hyeon-gyu Oh during the second half of the season.

Celtic’s search for a striker

Journalist Graeme Bailey claimed, at the start of this month, that the Hoops are considering a swoop to sign Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland.

However, the likes of Southampton, Hull, Burnley, Everton, and Sheffield United, among others, are also interested in a possible move for the Scotland international.

Football Insider reported that the Jam Tarts are expected to demand a fee of at least £3m for their star marksman, who has attracted interest from Rangers. However, the Light Blues could be forced to wait until the summer as they do not have the funds to splash out £3m for the forward.

This shows that Celtic would need to pay a decent fee for the Scottish attacker and they could have to convince him to turn down Premier League and Championship interest to move to Parkhead.

Rodgers could, however, land a dream alternative to Shankland by swooping in for Bologna’s Sydney van Hooijdonk, who is the son of former Hoops striker Pierre.

Italian outlet 1000 Cuori Rossoblu recently claimed that Celtic, and German side Werder Bremen, are interested in a deal for the Dutch centre-forward.

It has been reported that the 23-year-old whiz is due to leave Bologna, where he has struggled for consistent minutes on the pitch this season, and that could open the door for the Bhoys to snap him up.

He could be a fantastic alternative to splashing out £3m for Shankland, despite the Hearts captain being a very attractive option for the Hoops on paper.

Shankland’s Premiership goal record

The 28-year-old striker has made 99 appearances in the Scottish Premiership throughout his career and plundered an impressive 41 goals and ten assists, along with three goals in five top-six split outings.

He joined Hearts at the start of the 2022/23 campaign and hit the ground running with an outstanding return of 28 goals and four assists in 47 appearances in all competitions.

22/23 Premiership

Lawrence Shankland (via Sofascore)





Big chances missed




Sofascore rating


This season, Shankland has racked up 18 goals and three assists in 28 outings in all competitions for the Jam Tarts, which includes 13 goals in 21 Premiership matches.

He has scored seven goals in his last six top-flight appearances for Hearts and Celtic would be signing a player who is currently in-form and on fire in Scottish football.

These outstanding statistics suggest that the 28-year-old marksman would be able to hit the ground running at Parkhead to provide Rodgers with additional firepower at the top end of the pitch.


However, the downside is that he will turn 29 at the start of next season and, from a financial perspective, there is little future benefit from signing him.

At his age, it appears unlikely that Shankland is set to develop much more to become a sellable asset for Celtic to make a profit on further down the line; as was the case with the likes of Moussa Dembele, Gary Hooper, and Odsonne Edouard – to name a few – in his position in the past.

The Hoops could, instead, invest in another promising young striker who has the potential to develop and increase his value over time by swooping for van Hooijdonk as an alternative.

The stats that show why van Hooijdonk could be lethal for Celtic

He has struggled for minutes at Bologna this season but his form in the Netherlands and his impressive career at youth level suggests that the young gem could be an exciting addition for Rodgers.

Van Hooijdonk has only started two Serie A matches this term, with nine outings in total, and is yet to contribute with a goal or an assist for his side.

However, the 23-year-old whiz spent the previous 18 months on loan with Heerenveen in the Netherlands and produced 26 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions.

22/23 Eredivisie

Sydney van Hooijdonk (via Sofascore)







Big chances missed




As you can see from the table above, averaged more than one goal every other start in the Eredivisie for the Dutch side during the 2022/23 campaign.

The “prolific” – as he was once described by talent scout Jacek Kulig – started his career with NAC Breda and showcased his scoring potential at youth and senior level.

Van Hooijdonk plundered an astonishing 35 goals and two assists in 41 games for their U19 side in the academy before a return of 23 goals in 70 first-team matches.

These statistics suggest that Celtic would be signing a player with the quality to be a reliable goalscorer if they provide him with the right services, as evidenced by his excellent form in the Eredivisie last season.

Meanwhile, they would also be signing a 23-year-old prospect who is five years younger than Shankland and has far more re-sale potential for the club to make a profit on him in the future.

This is an effective way for the Hoops to make money to then fund further signings further down the line, as has been the case so many times in the past with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama, Edouard, and Kristoffer Ajer, among others.

Therefore, the £7.6k-per-week ace could be a dream alternative to Shankland to continue with the strategy of investing in young talent instead of going down the proven and experienced route with the Scotland native.

Leave a Comment