'Red herring'... The real reason why Carl Starfelt left Celtic last summer

The transfer of Carl Starfelt last summer was one that really came out of the blue for the Celtic fans.

Having lost Ange Postecoglou and Jota in the summer, the last thing we needed was one of the better defenders at the club to go as well.

The big Swede was much maligned in some quarters but he did form a brilliant partnership with Cameron Cameron Carter-Vickers in a defence that delivered five trophies out of six including a record-breaking eighth domestic treble.

And whilst many thought his reasons for leaving was because his partner, Jacinta Galabadaarachchi, left to go to Portugal, journalist Michael Gannon doesn’t believe that.

In fact, Gannon goes further and says that the reasoning or the excuses that were circulating that Starfelt left to follow Jacynta are simply not true.

Gannon said [Record Celtic podcast], “The girlfriend thing was a bit of a red herring. He got a better offer, an offer he fancied in Spain and went for it.

“I think the girlfriend thing was a bit of a red herring.”

Carl Starfelt is missed by Celtic

I don’t care what anyone says, in spite of all his flaws, Carl Starfelt was still a very good defender for Celtic.

There was (and here comes that word) a narrative built about Starfelt from the minute he signed and played in his debut game against Hearts at the beginning of the 2021 season.

Celtic v Motherwell - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A struggling debut meant in a 2-1 loss at Tynecastle had Starfelt almost immediately painted as a dud but despite that, whenever he partnered Carter-Vickers in the heart of the Celtic defence, the Hoops never lost a game.

Celtic spent over £7m in the summer trying to replace Starfelt. Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke have both failed to make the grade and whilst Liam Scales has been a standout performer this season, does he have the ability to take the club forward? Especially in Europe.

Brendan Rodgers will need to address the centre-back position at Celtic this summer, as well as many others because should Celtic win the league this season and get automatic entry into next seasons Champions League, what we currently have at the club will not be sufficient to help us compete against the best teams in Europe.

In other news, ‘He’s not somebody’… Michael Stewart shares what he really thinks about Matt O’Riley at Celtic

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