There are plenty of polls and articles about the best bargain buys for Celtic or simply just the best players to ever pull on the Hoops. However, there are forgotten men who played for Celtic who I feel never got the proper recognition for their contributions and talents.
Regardless of fee or where they came from, their aptitude and ability seen them play a part in the success of different Celtic sides. Of course, this is a very personal list and I doubt there will ever be a general consensus. In fact, I’m positive some of you reading this will read the names and instantly chant ‘PI**’ at the screen!
Here are five players I believe were underrated during their time at the club and maybe still don’t receive the adulation others enjoy.
#5 Robert Douglas
When people look back at Robert Douglas’ run at Celtic, they tend to remember the gaffes, but when the big man was at his best he could win you games. With 7 trophies under his belt which include 3 League Titles, 2 Scottish Cups and a League cup, his time at Celtic was certainly a success. He was also part of the team that made it to Seville, that doesn’t happen by accident.
#4 Stephen Pearson
The bhoy had terrible luck with injuries that eventually curtailed his Celtic career but when he got into full flow, Stephen was a decent player who played his part in some memorable results. Not helped by the fact he was up against Alan Thompson for his place in the Starting XI. His goal against Benfica springs to mind when we think of him, also his fantastic display against Hearts, coming off the bench when Celtic were 2-0 down to inspire a 3-2 fightback, earning him the sometimes unwanted moniker ‘Super Sub’.
Playing 66 times for Celtic, scoring 9 goals in the process, Ki is not someone who springs to mind when it comes to top Celtic players. However, his ability and general talent was hugely underestimated by a large portion of the support. When given a proper run in the team, Ki’s vision and technical ability certainly shone. The midfielder became a scapegoat for some supporters at times when things weren’t going right. Overall, he did well in the Hoops and he earned us a great profit when he left for Swansea for £6million having only been signed for £2million.
#2 Kelvin Wilson
He was a quiet big lad who came in from Nottingham Forest on a pre-contract agreement. After an initial good start, he faded away due to injury and inconsistent performances. Once you make a few mistakes the Celtic Fans can be unforgiving even if you change your fortunes around. After a shaky start, his finest season came during the 12-13 season when he proved to be a major asset in the big games – the famous beating of Barcelona at Celtic Park had the big man at the heart of the Celtic defence. After that season the Englishman headed back south for personal reasons but some will look back at his last season fondly.
#1 Barry Robson
The complete opposite of a glamour signing and had the same transfer went through January just gone we would have had whingers in our support, but this signing was inspired. When people talk about Celtic stars, Barry Robson will rarely get a mention but his contribution between 2008-2010 was superb. Coming from Dundee Utd at the age of 30 nobody expected a lot but the Scot scored a sensational header against Barcelona in a tightly fought 3-2 defeat. He was a player who gave you drive and dig, his finest two games coming in a double header against Oldco Rangers when he coolly slotted a penalty home under pressure and helped the bhoys win the ‘Title for Tommy’.
Comment below on some of the players you think were underappreciated.