NEW Bhoy Liam Scales will be “a hell of a player for a superb price” at Celtic.
That’s the verdict of his former boss Collie O’Neill who was name-checked by the versatile left-sided defender when he sealed his £500,000 move to the Hoops from Shamrock Rovers late last month.
Scales’ one-time gaffer at UCD reckons the 23-year-old centre-back will prove to be a massive hit at Parkhead.
O’Neill, who has seen the youngster make steady progress, said: “When Liam moved to the bigger stage at Rovers and he just continued to grow.
“It’s exactly what I expect from him again now that he has gone to Celtic.
“It’s a bigger platform, a bigger stage for him, but I fully expect him not just to do okay, but to actually excel there.
Mr VERSATILE…Liam Scales is all smiles as he is interviewed for Celtic TV at Lennoxtown.
“He’ll be a bargain because of the first-team experience he has and the European experience he has and because of the potential for growth.
“As I said, if you look at each platform and stage that he’s been up to, he’s performed. To me, he has gone in under the radar.
“If he develops and grows as he has done at his previous two clubs then Celtic have got one hell of a player for a superb price.”
O’Neill, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I saw lots of things in Liam. But the main thing was quality.
“It’s not often to see many defenders that have such composure on the ball and he had a fantastic work-rate, desire and hunger.
“With that extra bit of quality he had, it’s no surprise he has gone up through the levels.
“He never panics on the ball, is always aware of what is around him and can see that pass that counts.
“Where he has got better and better is that, no matter what stage that you put him on to, he adapted very quickly to it, grew into it and got better.”
O’Neill used Scales in a variety of positions with the international comfortable at left-back, wing-back and also left centre-half.
GETTING SHIRTY…new Bhoy Liam Scales at Lennoxtown. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
The former coach is open to where Hoops gaffer Postecoglou might deploy the utility ace, but feels he could be competing with Greg Taylor and Adam Montgomery for the No.3 slot.
He added: “Liam likes to get forward. It’s not often you have guys on the wing who are tall and attacking, but when he gets going into his stride, he’s quick and strong. He can just whip past people.
“So, for me, left-back would be his best position. Attacking strength is the one thing he’s very good at.
“Even at Shamrock Rovers when he was playing left wing-back, he’s a clever footballer who knows what’s going on around him.
“Liam can adapt to whatever system he’s deployed in.”
With Taylor injured and Montgomery short of first-team experience, Postecoglou handed a first-team debut to right-sided Josip Juranovic at Ibrox, but the Croatian international didn’t look comfortable in the role.
Now Scales will offer the Greek-Australian an alternative to the position with Boli Bolingoli’s Celtic career over, despite still having two years to run on his contract.