With Kieran Tierney joining Arsenal on deadline day, Celtic have released a statement assuring fans that the departure was entirely down to the player.
Tierney finally made his move to the Emirates after a transfer window full of twists and turns came to an end on Thursday evening. His departure of course robs the club of a fantastic player, but also places a hefty wad of cash into the Bhoys’ back pocket.
The 22-year-old was Celtic through and through and departed the club having played an integral part in the historic treble treble success over the past three years.
Yet, the statement announcing his departure is littered with an overwhelming sense of bitterness.
The official club site reads: “We did all we could to keep Kieran at Celtic. While the club did not need or wish to sell Kieran, this was an opportunity which Kieran very much wished to pursue and with the club having received a significant offer, we have agreed to the transfer.”
The 22-year-old has given a lot to the club since making his debut in 2015 and to point the blame for the deal in his direction isn’t a great look for the club.
Players like Moussa Dembele, Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama join the club knowing they can win trophies, play for a passionate fan base and immortalise themselves in an iconic club’s history books, while also having a great route to the biggest stage in football – the Premier League.
Focusing the fans’ anger towards a player who gave his all, came through the academy and earned a club-record fee of £25m might make players think twice about a move to Parkhead in the future, scuppering the club’s current structure of getting a few good years out of these types of players before selling for huge profit.
Potential signings might be turned off signing for the club if they think they could be in line for this sort of treatment. It’s not as bad as the Moussa Dembele situation, but it could have been handled better from the club, as they haven’t exactly come out of the deal empty-handed, and the player made zero public fuss to force a move.
It’s not terminal and it’s far from the worst thing the club could’ve done, but given everything Tierney has done for the Bhoys you’d have expected a more graceful summation of his commitment and career in Glasgow.