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Former Celtic figure hits out at new Middlesbrough signing

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Middlesbrough secured what they would consider a solid signing in bringing Riley McGree to the Riverside Stadium this month but former Celtic man Charlie Nicholas has hit out at the player to the Scottish Daily Express.

The player featured heavily for Birmingham this season, featuring in 13 games and managing four goal contributions along the way. It marks his second season in England, having spent the previous campaign with the Blues too.

It was Birmingham fans who were distraught to see the 23-year-old leave for his parent club this month again and they may have hoped they could lure him back to St Andrew’s again before the month was out.

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However, any hopes of that happening were dashed when McGree joined their divisional rivals Middlesbrough. Chris Wilder clearly liked what he saw in the player and he will now join them instead – and it’ll be a huge boost to Boro as they look to try and mount a push for the play-offs.

However, the second tier sides weren’t the only teams keen to wrap up a deal for the player. Celtic in Scotland were also keen to bring him in, only for him to snub them in favour of Middlesbrough. Now, one of their former players in Charlie Nicholas has written in the Scottish Daily Express that he feels the player made the move ‘simply for finances.’

He said: “Ange said he spoke to the boy himself and it looked like he had got assurances from the lad himself that he was coming. Riley however has changed his mind at the last minute and it looks to have been simply down to finances.

“It would have been a disappointment for Ange because the deal looked close to being done but then Celtic lost him when a better offer came in at the death. It looks like the player got greedy and these things happen in football.

“A lot of people will be questioning why he has picked Middlesbrough over Celtic. I can see both sides. They have appointed a good manager in Chris Wilder and I do think Boro are going places and could end up in the Premiership play-offs, but that wouldn’t have been in McGree’s thinking at this early point in the campaign.”

Nicholas then certainly feels as though the move only boiled down to money and that Celtic couldn’t have offered the player enough to lure him to Scotland over England. The SPL side’s loss is Boro’s gain though, with the 23-year-old now ready to help his new team climb the table in the second half of the campaign.

The Verdict

It is a great bit of business by Middlesbrough to bring in Riley McGree, especially considering how talented he looked playing for Birmingham this campaign.

Both the Blues and Celtic will be hurting to have missed out on the 23-year-old. Whether it boils down to finances or not, Boro are the side that have ultimately won the race for him.

They did what they needed to in terms of getting a deal over the line and they will now reap the rewards of having the Australian playing for them in the second half of the season. With Chris Wilder trying to build another promotion winning side, it will be a huge boost to them.

McGree can certainly help with that. Wilder looks to be building something special at the Riverside Stadium again and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them claim a play-off spot come the end of the current Championship campaign – and maybe even a promotion.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Former Celtic figure hits out at new Middlesbrough signing

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