Former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill has made the admission that by selling Mark Viduka to Leeds United, shortly after he arrived as new gaffer, was a move which ‘helped immensely’
Due to the exit, O’Neill was then able to sign fans favourite Chris Sutton, who then went on to create an incredible partnership with Henrik Larsson.
As reported by the Daily Record, O’Neill spoke to Sky Sports around his time at Celtic and in particular being able to sign a player of Sutton’s quality, therefor creating this new strike partnership, due to Mark Viduka being let go.
“Viduka leaving allowed me to buy Chris Sutton which helped immensely. He was a brilliant partner for Henrik Larsson so that worked out terrifically.
Henrik was in fantastic form that particular season. Sorry, he was in fantastic form every season that we had him. He really loved playing with Chris Sutton.
Sutton was a top-class player, there was no doubt about it. He had won the title in England with Blackburn Rovers. Going forward we became much more potent then.”
At the time, some may have questioned letting go of your top goal scorer. Of course, Viduka had his problems, but scoring 30 goals in 37 league games is an unbelievable record.
Looking back at history, that it was exactly the right decision for O’Neill to make. Sutton went on to become an absolute hero at the club, whilst also getting the best out of Larsson.
Martin O’Neill’s reign was one of the best that a lot of fans have ever witnessed, dominating Scottish Football whilst he was in charge, for the first time in a number of years, winning three league titles, three Scottish cups and a league cup.
It is great to hear interviews such as this with the Northern Irishman and how fondly he speaks on his memories of being Celtic manager during such a special period in the clubs history.