Celtic’s Summer Signings: Mid-season assessment – Liam Scales | OneFootball

Celtic’s Summer Signings: Mid-season assessment – Liam Scales

Logo: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

With the close of the summer transfer window only a matter of days away, Ange Postecoglou dipped into the market once more and after recently signing Josip Juranovic, defenders were on his mind once more this time in the form of Irish prospect Liam Scales.

It was a deal which didn’t move the needle on Celtic fan forums as he was relatively unheard of apart from within some in our Irish fan base who also have an interest in the League of Ireland. Personally I had saw him play for the Ireland under 21’s before but he had never stood out to me as one to watch for the future.

Celtic parted with around €600,000 to bring Scales in from Irish club Shamrock Rovers, handing him a four year deal. Scales was being brought in primarily for his attributes playing in the left back position but also had plenty of experience playing centre back and even on the left side of midfield during his time in Ireland.

On signing for Celtic, Scales explained his versatility whilst speaking to the official Celtic website:

“Over the years I’ve played in plenty of positions. I suppose when I was younger I was a left-sided midfielder and I kind of dropped back. At UCD I played mainly as a centre-back and I played a bit of left-back there as well, and in my first season at Shamrock Rovers I played centre-back. But with injuries to players this season I was put out left and I did quite well. “So I suppose I’m a versatile left-sided defender and I can play anywhere between the three positions – centre-back, left wing-back, left-back – as long as I’m playing, I’m happy.”

Discussing his newest recruit, manager Ange Postecoglou said:

5th December 2021; Tannadice Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Premier League football, Dundee United versus Celtic: Liam Scales of Celtic celebrates his goal making it 3-0 in the 81st minute.

“Liam is a young player who has impressed us and is someone who we think has the potential to have a big future at Celtic. He is an athletic defender who has the ability to play in a number of positions. “As I have said before, everyone at the club has been working hard to add depth and quality to our squad and in signing Liam I think again we have made good progress. We all look forward to welcoming Liam to Celtic and to start working with him.”

On 23 September, Scales made his debut for Celtic in a 3–0 win over Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Cup at Celtic Park, where he came on as a second half substitute with just over half an hour remaining in the match. Scales then made his league debut on 5th December, coming on once more as a substitute, and going on to score the third goal in Celtic’s 3–0 away win at Dundee United.

Celtic v Raith Rovers – Premier Sports Cup – Celtic Park Celtic s Liam Scales during the Premier Sports Cup match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Thursday September 23, 2021. Photo: Andrew Milligan

It was from there that the young Irish man seemed to kick on, playing the full game in a fantastic 3-2 home win in the Europa League against Real Betis. He also started our last three league games before the winter break, even chipping in with an assist against Ross County up in Dingwall. He also managed to get on the pitch during the latter stages of the League Cup victory over Hibs as he helped the team see out a 2-1 win at the national stadium.

During that period Scales showed that he is more than capable of playing in the Celtic first team. Scales has looked steady and reliable throughout and with a goal and an assist from the left back position to his name, all achieved within such limited game time, this proves that he has got to grips with the step up in levels since leaving the League of Ireland much quicker than many of us expected.

Celtic’s Adam Montgomery and Liam Scales. Photo Andrew Milligan

Ange Postecoglou has probably had to use young players such as Scales more often than he would have liked due to an awful run of injuries in the months leading up to Christmas, but that’s not to say the Irishman didn’t deserve his opportunity. The manager has often stated that he doesn’t give out appearances for nothing, that each player has to earn the right to play for Celtic and it’s clear that Scales is one of the young players who has earned that right.

It’s clear to see that Scales has further improvement within him, it is a huge step up to go from Shamrock Rovers to Celtic and it’s impressive that he has been able to make an impact already, possibly even surpassing the players own aspirations at this stage. With Greg Taylor back to full health I imagine we won’t be seeing quite as much of Scales during the second half of the season, although with a heavy schedule of games including the Scottish Cup and the Europa Conference League ahead there will be times Ange will be looking to rest players giving others like Scales a chance to impress.

5th December 2021; Tannadice Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Premier League football, Dundee United versus Celtic: Liam Scales of Celtic leads the celebrations with the players after the match

Scales has done well so far to work his way into the first team picture. When he first joined many thought he would be fourth choice at left back with Taylor, Bolingoli and Montgomery all ahead of him. Now it would be safe to say Scales is only behind Taylor, with Bolingoli completely out of the picture and Montgomery’s emergence in the first team picture perhaps a bit premature.

With the signing of Scales costing the club less than half a million, it would be silly to regard his purchase as anything other than a success. Training everyday with the talent currently at Celtic Park will only enhance the young man’s game further and he will only improve in the future.

Conall McGinty

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