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Celtic could have their new Gary Hooper in Joey Dawson

Criticism; that’s a word synonymous with Celtic Football Club over the last 12 months.

The Hoops recruited poorly last summer and after a shambolic start to the new campaign, protests quickly unravelled outside Paradise.

Defensive mistakes were rife and they ultimately surrendered their grasp on the league title to their biggest rivals.

Nick Hammond and Neil Lennon lost their jobs while an arduous campaign proved too much for Peter Lawwell who is due to retire.

There are fundamental issues laying deep beneath the surface at Celtic and they stem a number of years back.

They haven’t managed the squad well and young players are beginning to flee Parkhead after not getting enough opportunities. The biggest example last season was Cameron Harper, who headed back to America.

That’s been one of the biggest concerns for supporters who have seen a plethora of young players not earning regular opportunities.

Do Celtic have an academy problem?

No way!

No way!

Definitely!

Definitely!

Luca Connell was signed from Bolton Wanderers two years ago and still hasn’t made his professional debut for the club while remarkably; Karamoko Dembele is yet to start a senior outing for Celtic.

Connell earned valuable game time on loan at Queen’s Park last term while Dembele did, at least, find the back of the net for the first team.

However, it spoke volumes that John Kennedy was unwilling to field members of the reserve side even when they had nothing to play for in the final few weeks.

Therefore, the recent arrivals of Liam Shaw and Joey Dawson have been met with scepticism. Both are promising players but if they end up in the same way as Connell, they will have been worthless investments.

Shaw looks primed and ready to earn first-team minutes after playing regularly for Sheffield Wednesday last season but Dawson may have to wait more patiently.

His immediate goal is to thrive in the Colts team who will participate in the Lowland League before he realises his ambition of playing senior football.

Nephew to former Spurs defender Michael Dawson and son of Andy Dawson, the 18-year-old has a particularly bright future in the game.

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We'll start with an easier one, who is this Celtic academy player?

He scored 16 goals last term and arrives from Scunthorpe with shades of Gary Hooper.

The English forward was four years older than Dawson when he signed at the age of 22 for a fee of £2.4m from Scunthorpe.

Hooper lit up Parkhead on a regular basis, finding the net with great regularity. He scored 82 goals in just 138 appearances for the Bhoys, beating the goalkeeper every 135 minutes. For context, that record is better than Odsonne Edouard.

The Frenchman has been superb in Glasgow, scoring a goal for Celtic every 139 minutes.

With that in mind, it would take some doing for Dawson to live up to the dizzy heights of Hooper.

Though, with their Scunthorpe association in mind, there are certainly comparisons to be drawn. Dawson only played once for the Iron’s first team in 2020/21 but has immense potential and a similar ruthless streak in front of goal.

Former Scunthorpe boss, Paul Hurst, said earlier last term: “I think he’s a player with a lot of potential and showed good ability during pre-season in various games at different levels.”

The teenager has so made the jump between levels look easy, something Hooper certainly did after moving from English football to north of the border.

The new Celtic signing is certainly one to watch and alongside Dembele, they could create carnage in the years to come.

To have any chance of that, though, Ange Postecoglou will have to manage them a lot better than Lennon did in his second managerial stint.

AND in other news, Celtic begin talks to sign “remarkable” 22 y/o beast, he’d be a huge upgrade…

Article title: Celtic could have their new Gary Hooper in Joey Dawson

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