Alan Pattullo: Gary Hooper’s true value still a matter of debate

Celtic striker Gary Hooper scored two against Hearts. Picture: SNS
Celtic striker Gary Hooper scored two against Hearts. Picture: SNS
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how do you measure the worth of a striker playing in Scotland? Clearly, we would like to think that a goal is a goal wherever it is scored. However, many in England view goals scored in the Scottish Premier League as having less value than those scored in the Barclays Premier League and, probably, in the Championship as well.

This is why there is set to be further to-ing and fro-ing when it comes to the issue of in-form Celtic striker Gary Hooper, and his transfer value. Norwich City’s offer of £5 million does seem ridiculously low, particularly when Southampton have already had an offer of £7m rejected in the past. With 18 goals in his last 21 appearances, the 
English striker is only getting better.

Scunthorpe United are monitoring developments with keen interest, having inserted a sell-on clause in the deal taking him to Celtic Park where they are due 10 per cent of the fee. A figure of around £8m seems nearer the mark for Hooper, which means Scunthorpe would also benefit from a further £800,000. That, possibly, is the figure manager Neil Lennon is thinking of when he says that every player has his price. And even this price might have seemed an inflated one near the start of this season, when Hooper had scored only once in nine outings.

What is pleasing to note is that 
Lennon appears fairly at ease with the situation. He is not falling into the trap of making it seem as though the loss of Hooper would necessarily mean the death-knell of their season. Undoubtedly, he would prefer to have him for the two games against Juventus, and the hope is that they can rely on his goal instinct in these Champions League meetings. But there was life after Henrik Larsson, and there will be life after Hooper.