Christophe Berra has given Aaron Hickey to Celtic a ringing endorsement speaking to the media this week.
The former Celtic youth academy and Hearts player has been playing his football in Italy for the past 12 months with Bologna. However, reports have resurfaced again about the defender coming back to Scotland and back to Celtic!
Hickey has shown he will not wait around for things to happen and made things happen for himself by taking the difficult decision to leave the club he supports to pursue his career.
It’s got him playing in Serie A at 19, which is an outstanding turn of events.
Could the pull of Celtic’s first team be enough to see the left-back quit his Italian adventure to pull on the hoops?
Christophe Berra seems to think it would be a match made in heaven, speaking to SunSport, the former Hearts captain was gushing in his praise of young Aaron.
“Aaron’s a Celtic supporter, he’s from Glasgow and Celtic were his first club.
“So, it’s not a surprise if they’re looking to take him back.
“I’ve seen talk of a fee in the region of £3.5m and that probably won’t all be paid up front.
“You’re looking at basically less than £1m for every year of say a four-year contract and I think for Aaron’s age and potential — especially when you consider some of the fees elsewhere for players that young — it would appear good business.
“I’m pretty confident Aaron would be a quality player for them.
“Celtic will know him well enough as it is because he came through their academy system.
“Their transfer model has been proved for long enough — selling players on for big profits.
“Aaron could go back there, do really well and then get another big move.
“Then again, he might return and spend the next ten years of his career with Celtic and be a mainstay — which would be great for them.
“There’s a lot of improvement from him to come. He can be a very good investment for Celtic.
“I don’t know how many games he has played for Bologna, but if his value has gone up so dramatically in less than a year since leaving Hearts then they could make a nice profit.
“It can be good for all parties.
“As long as he can stay fit, with the right attitude and remain grounded, there’s no reason why Aaron couldn’t become a big player for Celtic and Scotland.
“He was still only 16 when he came into the first team. But the manager had faith in him and put him in for the Cup final.
“Aaron’s a very quiet lad and, obviously, he’ll mature as he gets older. But he’s got the talent already and temperament to play at the highest level.
“Aaron’s very composed and technically good with either foot.
“He’s played in the Premiership and in a Scottish Cup final while over the last year he’s also starred in Serie A, one of the best leagues in Europe.
“Aaron did well towards the end of that particular breakthrough season.
“He then followed that up with good displays in the season we ended up being relegated.
“We weren’t great as a team — but he still did enough to make Bologna buy him.
“Aaron’s maybe not played a lot in Italy but has still shown his potential.
“I’ve not been able to watch Bologna’s games but reports back have been positive. I think he’s also recovering from an injury at the moment.
“Some lads Aaron’s age can be cockier or get a bit carried away. But he’s never been like that.
“He’s a boy of very few words. But nothing seems to faze him.
“He never caused a problem in the Hearts dressing room. He’s a respectful boy who listens carefully to advice.
“Aaron’s comfortable either full-back position and can also play in the middle of defence or midfield.
“I don’t remember him being slow at Tynecastle, but he also wasn’t outstandingly fast.
“Yet he can still be dynamic, while physically he’s going to continue to grow.
“Aaron will get bigger and stronger. Working in Italy will only have made him better.”
Celtic are now in Wales for their pre-season training camp. The bhoys will have their first friendly on Wednesday this week, taking on Sheffield Wednesday as they look to get up to speed before the Champions League qualifiers in a couple of weeks.
The club needs to press on and make some positive signings. If they really want Hickey in for the rebuild, they should get him in as soon as possible.