Kylian Mbappe poked fun at the way France’s Ligue 1 is viewed, tweeting ‘FARMERS LEAGUE’ after Lyon knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League. The Scottish Premiership has long been looked down upon, too.
But Saturday was another example of a player having an impact in Europe after time spent north of the border.
Moussa Dembele’s goals crushed City and he honed his skills in the green and white of Celtic. He was signed from Fulham for £500,000 in 2016, sold to Lyon for £19.7million two years later, and now we’re seeing him linked with Chelsea and Manchester United for as much as £60m. Why not make a move for him before?
Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how the Scottish game is viewed. The biggest example, of course, is Virgil van Dijk. He was signed by Celtic for £2.6m, sold to Southampton for £13m, then to Liverpool for £75m and now he’s a Premier League and Champions League winner.
Then there’s Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn. Without McGinn, Aston Villa would not be a Premier League club now.
Whether Scottish clubs undervalue their assets is a separate issue. They have a nasty habit of selling players on the cheap. It’s remarkable that Hibernian only received £2m for McGinn, for example.
But this dismissive attitude towards Scottish football needs to go. It’s astounding what it takes for the Premier League’s big clubs to take these players seriously. They keep making the same mistakes over and over.