In the second half of the 2020/21 season, DECLAN Gallagher has the mental strength and physical strength to play for Celtic – and he will help the Parkhead club score more goals and hold clean sheets as they seek to restore their 10-in-a-Row bid.
That’s the view of former Gallagher boss Gary Holt, in the midst of rumors that the four-time triple winners could bid for the man who last year helped Scotland qualify for Euro 2020.
Neil Lennon admitted that during the January transfer window, he was keen to bring in another central defender and was connected with the captain of Motherwell.
In the Premiership game against Dundee United last week, his £ 7million acquisition of French defender Christopher Jullien suffered a knee injury and is expected to be out for up to four months.
Shane Duffy, an international from the Republic of Ireland who returned early this week from a training camp in Dubai, has struggled to hit form since his summer move from Brighton.
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Gallagher expires at the end of the season at Motherwell and – while a one-year contract clause is activated if he plays six more first-team games – if their Premier League rivals put in an offer, they will be eligible for an acceptable transfer fee.
During the 2018/19 season, Holt worked with the 29-year-old at Livingston and believes he has several qualities that would allow Celtic, who are 19 points behind Rangers in the league with three games remaining, to win.
“I always thought he would go on, thought he would go to the next level,”I always thought that he’d go on, thought that he’d go to the next level. I thought he could go to England. He’s at that age. He has experience with the number of games he has played, and he has international recognition. I could definitely see him going to England and developing there,”I thought he could go to England. He’s at that age. He has experience from the number of games he’s played, and he’s had international recognition. I could definitely see him going to England and developing there,”I could see him going to England and developing there.
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But it’s hard to turn down when someone like Celtic comes calling. He definitely has the mental ability to deal with it. He knows how good he can be, he knows what he has to do. He has the experience of playing games now, playing a daily series of games. He misses a game very seldom.
“He’s just a good all-round player. There’s no credit people give him for how good he’s on the ball. He scored lots of goals for us at Livingston. We were playing three in the back, and he was back in the center right, but he was overlapping the three. We had a lot of joy on the right side.
“People didn’t realize how good he is. He’s very good with his feet. He’s also a lot faster than people think. He’s also a danger in both boxes. He may not score a lot of goals, but because of his height, he’s such a focal point. His assists on goals are phenomenal.”
Rutherglen-born Gallagher was a youth player at Celtic but left Parkhead without playing a first-team game, joining Clyde in 2011.
Holt believes the defender, who has established himself as first choice for his country since making his international debut under Steve Clarke against Cyprus last season, has improved enormously over the last two seasons and would strengthen Lennon’s side.
“I’ve always said we (Livingston) are lucky to have guys who are willing to get injured in both boxes,” he told Radio Clyde. “That’s what you need. Too often today you don’t see guys going and attacking the ball to score a goal.
“He’s willing to go and hurt himself in both boxes. He’s willing to do his job and make it better. He’s made tremendous progress since he left Livvy.”