Celtic news: Lewis Morgan deal done, St Mirren star to stay on loan | Football | Sport

Morgan went through a medical yesterday and barring a late hitch will pen a deal that allows him to return to St Mirren on loan for the rest of the season before moving to Parkhead permanently in June.

The Scotland Under-21 midfielder opted for a £300,000 switch to Celtic despite keen interest from clubs down south including Nottingham Forest.

And while many Scots such as Gary Mackay-Steven, Scott Allan and Ryan Christie have struggled to make the grade at Parkhead after stepping up from rival SPFL clubs, St Mirren boss Jack Ross believes Morgan can cut the mustard.

When asked if the 21-year-old former Rangers academy player is good enough to step up, Ross said: “I would say a couple of things on that.

“If he wasn’t Scottish then some people’s opinion wouldn’t be as strong, because we don’t like to talk up our own.

“Part of that is down to what has happened with the national team and we have a negativity about our game.

“But we have good players in this country and we should talk up the talent we have.

“There will be lots of people who will say, what is the better alternative, going to England? 

“Is that the holy grail for us? Or do we get encouraged by a player wanting to stay in our own country and play?

“I hope everything goes well for him so that people may become more receptive to this type of move.

“People will also point to some of the players who haven’t progressed there.

“But there are also examples of players who have, like Stuart Armstrong.

“I can only go on my experience of working with Lewis on a daily basis.

“It will be a challenge, but he has enough ability, he works hard at his game and mentally he is a bright boy.

“He is going to face bigger pressures in the future, different pressures.

“But I have absolutely no doubt that, as a young man, he will be capable of dealing with that.”

Celtic could have captured Morgan on a pre-contract and paid a compensation fee for him in the summer when his Paisley deal expired.

But to ward off rivals the Hoops have paid a premium to sign him now even though he will remain with the Championship leaders for their promotion push.

Paisley gaffer Ross is certain that the move – which was ignited by Morgan’s performance against Celtic a year ago in a Scottish Cup tie – will leave St Mirren, the Hoops and the player as winners.

He added: “He is not one who has burst on the scene and got the move through fortune.

“He is good enough to earn this type of move and I genuinely believe he is good enough to be a success there.

“I’m not sure how many times Brendan would have seen him playing before they played us in the cup. The team did well that day he was really good.

“His form has continued and what has helped him has been his performances on the international stage.

“When you do well for Scotland against England and the Netherlands it helps. 

“More the Netherlands game perhaps – the physicality of their team was evident and that night he was really good.

“That was maybe the night for clubs who had a real interest in him to say that he was the ‘real deal’.

“He’s two-footed, to his credit. He has a stronger side but it’s impossible to tell. He can take corners with either foot and that’s a rarity in Scottish or even European football.

“In terms of all-round ability he’s certainly one of the best I’ve worked with.

“His attitude is such that he’s always willing to learn and that makes it easy for a manager and coach as well.”

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