Could Scott Sinclair be Celtic’s Modern Day Lubo?

(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images) /

One of the first signs that things would be different for Celtic under Brendan Rodgers was the signing of Scott Sinclair. No offense to the likes of Nadir Ciftci, but Sinclair’s arrival was starkly different that the signings that came when Ronny Deila was in charge.

Sinclair arrived at Celtic with a reputation of a player with tons of potential that has been unfulfilled. Before moving to Villa Park, Sinclair was at Manchester City. His time at the mega-rich club was highlighted by injuries and inconsistent play.

Yet before moving to Manchester City, Sinclair was successful with Swansea. He helped the Swans win promotion to the Premier League and stay there. During his time in Wales, Sinclair scored 36 goals and notched 9 assists or 0.57 Goals and Assists per 90 minutes. It was this play that earned Sinclair the contract with Manchester City.

After a career with mostly unfulfilled promise, Sinclair has hit the ground running since joining Celtic. Sinclair has scored 7 goals and 3 assists in all competitions or 1.04 Goals and Assists per 90 minutes.

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Sinclair’s move has seen the form that most expected all his career. While a few players contributed to Celtic’s potent attack, it could be argued that Sinclair’s contributions have been the greatest so far.

It has been shown that most football players reach their peak between the ages of 24 and 28. Attackers usually hit their peak around age 25-26. Scott Sinclair is 27. We can certainly say that the competition in the SPFL Premiership isn’t as tough as the competition Sinclair faced in England, so Sinclair’s improved numbers could be due to his competition. Yet, even facing worse competition, numbers suggest that Sinclair might not continue his tremendous form for Celtic as he gets older.

However, Celtic know a player coming to the club towards the end of his career and still being successful. Lubo Moravcik came to Celtic in 1998, when the Slovakian midfielder was 33 years old.

Despite coming to Celtic in the end of his career, Lubo was sensational for Celtic, scoring 29 goals in 94 appearances. Even at 33, Lubo scored and contributed many important goals. Lubo was a box to box midfielder, while Sinclair is a winger. Yet despite playing different roles, Sinclair can look to Lubo to see good form can continue past your peak.

Sinclair has been one of the best players in the SPFL so far. He has the second best Goals and Assists per 90 minutes in the league at 1.30, only behind his teammate James Forrest. He has an expected goal total of 2.05 in SPFL Premiership league play, which in the 11th best in the league. Both conventional and advanced stats agree, Sinclair has been great.

If Sinclair can keep up these stats for even one season, his salary will be worth it. A successful season for Celtic can also mean that he could attract an English club that would be willing to send Celtic a nice transfer fee.

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His name is already known to English clubs and if they see good numbers in the SPFL, they could offer a transfer fee that could see the Bhoys net a profit. And any time you can make a profit off a player who is going on 28 years old, that is a good thing.

While being mostly a question mark upon his arrival, Sinclair has started living up to the hype that has surrounded him. His pace and skill on attack has been wonderful to watch. Whether the Hoops get one year, multiple years, or a tidy profit from him, Scott Sinclair’s signing has proven to be a great move.