2018 was an exciting year for Celtic and everyone associated with the Hoops and Parkhead.
The Bhoys wrapped up the treble as Brendan Rodgers led his side to a Premiership crown and cup double.
Celtic even reached the group stages of the Champions League, an achievement that’s felt incredibly far-fetched over the last few seasons.
Yet, that year was also one for Peter Lawwell to forget in the transfer window. That’s because the Glaswegian side missed out on a player who’s now one of the first names on the team sheet for the national side.
Coincidentally, he’s also now a regular in the Premier League.
The man in question is a certain John McGinn. The central midfielder was at Hibernian when Celtic tried no fewer than three times to sign from the Edinburgh club.
“It was important to weigh up everything and not just go with my heart because I had basically made up my mind I wanted to join Celtic.”
The midfielder added: “But I also had to weigh up in my mind how strong Celtic’s midfield had been for a long time.
“I remember speaking to Brendan Rodgers and he said the important thing I would take from it was I would play games. But Steve Bruce said I would play every game.”
Sadly, it looks as though the club’s new CEO, Dominic McKay, has just repeated that mistake.
Of course, the chief executive officer has to be given praise for his work in the market. Celtic brought in 12 new first-team players over the summer, some of which have already taken to the Premiership like a duck to water; Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada are the primary suspects.
Yet, in this instance, he has made a mistake. Celtic had been scouting a certain Ali McCann long before McKay arrived in Glasgow but on transfer deadline day, they ignored a swoop which allowed him to move to England instead.
It wasn’t a Premier League side that came calling as they did for McGinn, but perhaps more frustratingly it was a club in the second tier.
Preston North End ended up landing the Northern Irishman in the final hours for just £1m.
Similarly to McGinn, he is an all-action midfielder, one that surely would have become an instant name on the team sheet at Paradise.
Last term, the former St Johnstone man was a force going forward and from a defensive point of view. He won 1.7 aerial duels per game and was also victorious in 2.7 tackles a match.
Furthermore, McCann made 1.5 interceptions and also registered 0.8 key passes. For the price tag touted, it’s strange that Celtic decided to ignore him.
This was a golden opportunity on deadline day.