Opinion: Midfield has uncertain Celtic future, Stoke and Swansea should pounce in January – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Jonny Hayes has an uncertain future at Celtic with only six months remaining on his contract. Celtic are keen to keep the 32-year-old, but he’ll be free to speak with overseas clubs when the winter transfer window opens.
Stoke City and Swansea City have been linked with his signature and should pounce in January before Celtic make progress with contract talks. Stoke need cover for Stephen Ward at left-back while Swansea need cover for Jake Bidwell as Declan John hasn’t featured this season.
Hayes has made 59 appearances in all competitions since joining the Hoops from Aberdeen in 2017, scoring and creating 10 goals. The Republic of Ireland international has featured 17 times this season, but 76% of his appearances have come from the bench – at left-back and left-midfield during Celtic’s injury crisis.
In defence, Boli Bolingoli has an injury while Greg Taylor and Calvin Miller have mostly been out of the matchday squad. On the wing, Lewis Morgan, Scott Sinclair and Mikey Johnston have been on the periphery while Daniel Arzani and Mohamed Elyounoussi have struggled with injuries. Hayes has benefitted from their absences.
The 32-year-old started in Celtic’s 2-1 win over Lazio (November 7) and in two of their last three Premiership games – 2-0 win over Motherwell (November 10), 4-0 win over Livingston (November 23) – so he still has a part to play under Neil Lennon. Nevertheless, Hayes’ future will be up in the air until he agrees a new deal with the Hoops, so Stoke and Swansea should capitalise on the uncertainty.
Stats from Transfermarkt.
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