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Celtic Legend Thinks Re-Signing Hooper Would Be A “Step Backwards” For The Club

Celtic Legend Thinks Re-Signing Hooper Would Be A “Step Backwards” For The Club

Former Celtic player and manager Davie Hay doesn’t think re-signing Gary Hooper would be a good idea.

The 31-year-old has been released by Sheffield Wednesday and is available on a free transfer this summer.

However, writing in his column for the Evening Times, Hay believes Celtic should be targeting higher quality forwards:

“I am not sure about the notion of Celtic looking to bring back Gary Hooper up front, if reports about Neil Lennon having an interest in the striker are true.”

“Now, don’t get me wrong, he did really well for Celtic first time around and he was a prolific scorer for that team, but I think it might be a step backwards…”

“There may be a case to bring Hooper in to add a bit of depth to the squad along with someone else with a bit more quality as a starter, but I fully expect there to be higher targets in the Celtic manager’s mind.”

Hooper scored 82 goals in 138 appearances for Celtic between 2010 and 2013 before making a £5m switch to Norwich City.

The striker was an important player under Neil Lennon during the Northern Irishman’s first spell in charge at Parkhead, but since then, the Englishman has had major fitness problems.

Hooper spent 15 months on the sidelines due to a groin problem and only returned to Wednesday’s first team in late March.

He scored one goal in six games after his return to the first team but it wasn’t enough to convince manager Steve Bruce to hand him a new contract.

Before his injury, though, Hooper was in good form, having scored ten goals in 24 league appearances in the first half of the 2017/18 season.