Are Newcastle Really Interested In Celtic’s Gary Hooper?

The Sun is not always accurate in their reporting,  so this story should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

Gary Hooper – can he do the job in the Premier League?

The report is that Newcastle United are lining up a £5M bid for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, and that they will go after the striker in the January transfer window.

There are also reports out there saying that Newcastle will go back in for  striker Modibo Maiga of Sochaux, whom they tried to sign  in the summer, and the Mali striker would cost around £7M or thereabouts.

And only last Monday we reported that Newcastle were interested in 21 year-old Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, who currently plays for FC Twente.

Gary Hooper  will turn 24 in January and he was born in Harlow, but it’s hard to judge players who play up north for Celtic or Rangers in the Scottish Premier League,  because those sides are so dominant and score so many goals.

Kris Boyd is a good case in point, and  when he became available a year last summer, not one English Premier League club went after him.

He had scored 128 goals in 192 appearances for Rangers,  but he has since struggled in England, so records don’t mean too much north of the border, especially when the player plays for the two dominant sides up there.

Boyd couldn’t get the job done at Middlesbrough, and he’s  now at Nottingham Forrest,  and  he scored goals galore for Rangers, but he’s hardly a top striker in England.

Hooper signed for Celtic after two years at Scunthorpe United, and Celtic paid a fee of £2.4M for him, and he certainly hit the goals when he was at at Scunthorpe,  scoring 50 goals in 95 appearances for them, and since moving to Celtic he has 27 goals in 48 appearances for the Glasgow giants.

Hooper has expressed a wish to play for England, and we suppose he’ll have a better chance of doing that at Newcastle in the Premier League than at Celtic.

England manager Fabio Capello never comes up to Newcastle, never mind going to Glasgow to watch one single player.

We’re not sure about Gary Hooper, to be honest, and he would be a bit of a risk, but there again if  Chief Scout Graham Carr has scouted him, and is recommending to Newcastle that they go after him in January, that would be good enough for us.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Andy

    Oct 13, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #1

    Boyd and Hooper are imcomparable. Boyd did not play big games didn’t play in europe and only scored once ever in an old firm game. He was a luxury player. Hooper is a LOT more hardworking;
    Watched a lot of hooper play as i support celtic as well. I wouldn’t be unhappy with this signing as he is reasonably quick, strong and a great finisher but i do have my own reservations about him. I don’t think he can play a lone striker role which he would have to play if HBA was to be in the ‘number 10? role. Although he is strong his hold up play isn’t good enough to play up top by himself. His best performances have game when along side Stokes.
    Although i doubt he’d be able to play up top by himself he is a smart player with his runs. And would be great for HBA as he would be looking for the kind of balls HBA can play. His first touch at times is very poor.
    Little fact last year his shots on target % was 60% which was the best in the SPL. Doesn’t waste his chances and mostly makes the keeper work. Would be pleased but rather Pappis Demba Cisse.

    On the Boyd debate you could also add Larsson who apparently could only score in a ‘Mickey Mouse’ league.

  • ToonBry

    Oct 13, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #2

    Just want to say thanks to those who said congratulations to me on the birth of my little girl.
    On this i would say a huge fat NO to Hooper. Would be useless at the toon and in the Prem. There are far FAR better players out there.

  • toonarmy1986

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    Comment #3

    I think he is worth a punt! He scored a stack of goals in a poor Scunthorpe teams. He is young with huge potential which fits the Ashley mould!

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #4

    Jeez coming down the pecking order in terms of strikers. First it was the likes Pappis Demba Cisse and Maiga, then it was the talented Dutch starlet Luuk de Jong, and now we are at a juncture where we are linked with a player that had a reasonable record at a (then) Championship team who has went North to make himself look good, (a la Kris Commons).

    I would respond to this speculation with a humongous NO THANK YOU

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #5

    Oh and on an un-football related note. Ed just noticed that you have undergone your radiation treatment, just remember that you have the thoughts and prayers of Geordies all over the globe that you have united with the most respected NUFC blog on the planet.

    All the best Mr Harrison 🙂

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #6

    We’ve probably just let this out in the hope that Spuds, Scum and Liverpool go after him.

  • solano

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #7

    Was worth a punt when he was at Scunny as I was quite impressed with him and seem to remember him running us ragged on a cold midweek game…his value has increased since but he apparently still falls within our spending parameters (whatever they maybe!)….I actually think he would be less of a gamble than Mr Myagi, but it’ll be bullsh*t papertalk anyhow as January “is the worst time to buy players”

  • bigjoen

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #8

    I hope he stay’s with Celtic,why would he want to play for a team that wins nothing every year.

  • Robby Bobson

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #9


    And hooper certainly knows where the net is…he and naismith need to get out of that league.

    Would like someone who is explosuve but they cost…hooper will bang them in if we are playing well.

  • kilcline

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #10

    Has the Sun newspaper ever got anything right before a deal has gone through?


  • dublin mag steve

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #11

    i cannot say whether or not hooper would do a job in prem league but what i will say is he certainly can finish hes a classy little dtriker and i always back him for 1st goal if doin a bet in scotland

  • BigAl9

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Comment #12

    Well said Ruddy Marveaux-lous, Top Blog Ed, I didn`t contribute for a long time, but it`s always been a daily fixation for me this blog. Hoping for the best for you.

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #13

    dublin mag steve, “hes a classy little dtriker”. Drinker?

  • toonLYF

    Oct 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #14

    -#5 good words, nice one mate.

  • Scottishtoon95

    Oct 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #15

    give celtic nile ranger and fraser forster and 1.5 mill and we’ll get hooper. Less of a risk that way.
    What do you guys think?

  • veto

    Oct 13, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #16

    eren derdiyok
    we have been watching him long enough now i think the times right for us to make a bid , get the lad in already, he scores some shearer esc goals

  • Thump

    Oct 14, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #17

    @ToonBry: Congrats mate! Hope she’s healthy!

    @Andy: Seriously? You’re saying Hooper is better than Boyd? The same Kris Boyd who fans would still take back and were gutted to see leave?

    Mate, I think you’re watching a different Boyd.

  • Rumsfeld

    Oct 14, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Comment #18

    As long as he’s young and he’s English I’m all for it

    We’re gonna be the fackin Norman conquerors

  • scroggroadcanuck

    Oct 14, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Comment #19

    ED, read your blog for ages but have never contributed. A big thanks, and want to wish you well with your treatment – Howay the Lads!!!!

  • BigKirky

    Oct 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #20

    I was talking to my pal in Glasgow a few weeks ago who is a Toon fan and a Celtic fan and thinks Hooper is canny. If a cheap price could be worked out and the lad wasn’t pressured into having to be the main man, he maybe worth a shot.

    The downside of course is that if he’s not the main man, surely he’d hinder the progress of the younger lads and I don’t think he’d be better than Ba, probably on the same level as Besty if not a bit below?

    By the rumours and links and stats n all, Cisse would be the solid option, although I’ll be very comfortable with whoever Carr has identified.

  • jay-toon

    Oct 14, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #21

    NOOO!!!.. there is no striker in scotland that is good enough for the EPL.. i have no ties with the glasgow scum teams. as i support dundee utd. jelavic is a championship player, hence leicster only put a bid in for him, steven naismith is a carthorse, he doesnt know where the net is against a big team.. the games hes played for scotland against holland, spain and the czechs hes bottled it and missed sitter after sitter.. its kind of hard not to score in a team of rangers/celtic when you are playing guff of st johnstone and inverness?!.. no striker in scotland can play in the english premier league. FACT.


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