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Celtic: Parkhead outfit sold Scott Sinclair at just the right time

Scottish champions Celtic are currently in buoyant mood amid what’s been a fine start to the campaign domestically, with the Hoops already looking well placed to retain their Scottish Premiership crown.

For all the brilliance of Ange Postecoglou’s time in charge to date, the 57-year-old will still likely struggle to emulate the success of former Parkhead coach, Brendan Rodgers, with the current Leicester City boss having notably led the Glasgow side to a stunning unbeaten domestic campaign in his first season in charge.

A key figure in that glorious 2016/17 campaign – as well as the success that followed under Rodgers – was that of Scott Sinclair, with the dynamic winger having rejuvenated his career in Scotland after a turbulent few years south of the border.

The Englishman – who was previously on the books at Chelsea – had initially made his mark during an impressive stint with Swansea City, memorably scoring 27 goals in all competitions for the Welsh outfit during the 2010/11 season to fire the club to the Premier League.

Having subsequently scored eight league goals the following season in the top-flight, the Bath-born forward was then snapped up by Manchester City in 2012, although that move ultimately backfired as the highly-rated talent remained on the periphery at the Etihad, while a move to Aston Villa also failed to bare fruit.

A reunion with Rodgers – who had coached the player at the Liberty Stadium – came about at Paradise in 2016 for a reported fee of around £3m, with Sinclair going on to make an instant impact in his new surroundings.

He scored 21 goals in 35 league games during his debut campaign, numbers that saw him play “like Messi” – in the words of presenter Ste Howson – to help secure the SPFA Player of the Year award.

The 5 foot 8 sensation remained a valued asset over the next two seasons having scored 18 goals across all fronts in the 2017/18 campaign, as well as a further 17 the year after, although ultimately fell out of favour following Neil Lennon’s return to the helm.

Having made just two league appearances at the start of the 2019/20 season, the exciting asset was moved on to Preston North End in the winter window, having netted an impressive haul of 62 goals and provided 33 assists in 167 games for the Scottish giants in all competitions.

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While it had been something of a surprise to allow the player to leave, pundit Chris Sutton notably stated at the time that Sinclair had ‘drifted’ following his initial strong start at the club, having looked a ‘shadow of himself’ during the 2018/19 season.

As such, it may well have been something of a masterstroke to allow the former City man to depart, with the now veteran having since hardly pulled up any trees upon his return to England.

The 33-year-old is currently plying his trade in the third tier with Bristol Rovers – where he began his career – having scored just 14 times in 85 games during his spell at Deepdale.

The £305k-rated man had been released by the Lilywhites in the summer, having only made the move to Joey Barton’s side last month – scoring once since then.

As it has proved, Celtic have seemingly not suffered as a result of Sinclair’s exit just over two years ago, while the player himself has hardly left the club ruing their decision to let him leave.

Article title: Celtic: Parkhead outfit sold Scott Sinclair at just the right time

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