SCOTT SINCLAIR has been praised by a legendary Celtic duo for his services to the Hoops.
The forward left the champions last week after three-and-a-half-years at Parkhead where he played his part in the club winning TEN domestic honours.
Sinclair, 30, who cost £4.5million when he joined from Aston Villa in August 2016, scored 62 goals for the team and became a massive favourite with the fans before agreeing a switch to Championship outfit Preston.
The flamboyant one-time England international forward, who also played for Chelsea, Swansea City and Manchester City, struggled for game-time during this campaign as he prepared to come out of contract in June.
Neil Lennon gave him only one competitive start in the largely meaningless Europa League Group E encounter against Cluj in Romania where the side lost 2-0 after already being guaranteed top place in the section.
It wasn’t exactly a fitting send-off for a player who became a hero.
CUP THAT CHEERS…Davie Hay and Tom Boyd with the Premiership trophy.
However, former boss and manager Davie Hay and ex-striker Chris Sutton were glowing in their tributes for the player.
“Scott Sinclair may have been out of the frame this season, but he won’t be a forgotten man at Celtic now that he has left the club.” insisted Hay in the Evening Times.
“He can be rightly proud of what he achieved as a Celtic player, particularly in his first season here when he was absolutely exceptional. He was Scotland’s Player of the Year and deservedly so, scoring a barrowload of important goals and being unplayable on his day.
“His Celtic career may well have petered out somewhat in the end, but there is no doubt that he played a pivotal part in a treble treble, and there aren’t a lot of players who can say that.
“Yes, he may have been particularly central to the first of those trebles, but he certainly played his part in the others, too, contrary to what many people might think.
“He was, of course, a revelation at Celtic when he first arrived and all credit to Brendan Rodgers for bringing him to the club. He obviously knew him from his time at Swansea and he turned out to be one of his best signings.
CAPITAL SHOW…substitute Scott Sinclair in action against Hibs in the 1-1 draw at Easter Road in September.
“Nobody is perfect all the time and form can come and go, but Sinclair had as close to a perfect season as you can get in the Invincibles’ season.
“Even in the next campaign, when some people were saying his form had dipped, he still got 18 goals and many assists.
“And then even last season, while you could see he wasn’t quite the player he had been, he chipped in with 17 goals. For a wide player, his goals-to-game ratio was extraordinary.
“Unfortunately, in football, you can fall out of favour for whatever reason, and he was seldom used this term. Subsequently, when he did come in, he looked rusty.
“What I really admired about him was that every time he pulled on that shirt, whether he played well or not, he gave it his all. And when he wasn’t included, although he wouldn’t have been happy, you never heard any murmurings of discontent in public.
“I think he deserves so much credit for his time at Celtic, but it was the right time for a parting of the ways. And that is as much for Scott Sinclair as Celtic.
“He now has a two-and-a-half-year contract at Preston, and he will hopefully get the regular first-team football that he has been looking for.
TALK SHOW…Chris Sutton during a media stint.
“He was a really good pro and seemed to do everything the right way. He was never troublesome and gave his all in training and in games.
“I think Scott himself will know that while there may not have been a great fanfare when he left and he didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to the fans at a game, he left in the best of spirits from his own, the fans’ and the club’s point of view.
“He will look back on his Celtic stay as one of the best periods of his career I’m sure, and Celtic supporters will always hold him in high regard.”
Chris Sutton agrees with Hay and told the Daily Record: “There will be a lot of fondness for the winger. The move probably came six months later than it should have, but most people will look back on his time at the club as a major positive.
“Sinclair was phenomenal in his first season at Celtic, when he was the main man in the Invincible campaign.
“I know some fans have been complaining about his lack of action this year, but Neil Lennon isn’t letting go the Sinclair of 2016 or 2017. He’s released the 2019 version and you have to say he’s not hit the heights.
“Sinclair seems to be a confidence player and it was lacking a bit in the last 18 months and a change of scenery is probably what he needs.”