Celtic have completed their only signing of the January transfer window by bringing in Corkman Liam Scales on loan from Dundee United until the end of the season. The 23-year-old defender, who can play as a centre-back or a left-back, will add depth and versatility to the Hoops’ backline.
Scales impressed by Celtic’s ambition
Scales, who joined Dundee United from Shamrock Rovers in August 2023, said he was delighted to join Celtic and was impressed by the club’s ambition and history.
“I’m over the moon to be here. It’s a massive club with a huge fanbase and a great history. I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Celtic fans and hopefully winning some trophies,” he told the club’s official website.
He added that he was eager to learn from Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, who has a reputation for playing attractive and attacking football.
“He’s a very ambitious manager and he has a clear vision of how he wants the team to play. I think that suits my style of play and I’m excited to work under him and improve as a player,” he said.
Postecoglou praises Scales’ potential
Postecoglou, who has been under pressure after a disappointing start to the season, said he was pleased to secure Scales’ services and praised his potential and versatility.
“He’s a young player with a lot of potential and he can play in different positions across the defence. He’s strong, quick and comfortable on the ball and he has a good attitude and work ethic,” he said.
He also said that Scales would provide competition and cover for the likes of Stephen Welsh, Carl Starfelt and Greg Taylor, who have been struggling with injuries and form.
“We’ve had some issues with injuries and suspensions in defence and we needed to bring in some reinforcements. Liam will give us more options and depth and I’m sure he’ll fit in well with the squad and the club,” he said.
Scales’ career so far
Scales started his career with UCD, where he made over 100 appearances and won the First Division title in 2018. He also represented Ireland at under-21 level and was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament in 2019.
He moved to Shamrock Rovers in 2020 and helped them win the Premier Division title and the FAI Cup in his first season. He also played in the Europa Conference League qualifiers, where he scored a memorable goal against Flora Tallinn.
He joined Dundee United in August 2023 for a reported fee of £500,000 and made 18 appearances for the Scottish Premiership side, scoring one goal.
He will wear the number 28 shirt for Celtic and could make his debut in the Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic on Saturday.
Celtic’s transfer window summary
Scales was the only arrival at Celtic Park in the January transfer window, as the club failed to land any of their other targets. Celtic were linked with moves for Croatian striker Bruno Petkovic, Japanese midfielder Daichi Kamada and Australian defender Harry Souttar, but none of them materialised.
On the other hand, Celtic saw several players leave the club, either permanently or on loan. Odsonne Edouard, who was in the final year of his contract, joined Crystal Palace for £15 million, while Ryan Christie joined Bournemouth for £1 million.
Other departures included Vasilis Barkas, who returned to AEK Athens on loan, Albian Ajeti, who joined Basel on loan, and Olivier Ntcham, who joined Genoa on a free transfer.
Celtic also loaned out several fringe players, such as Boli Bolingoli, Marian Shved, Luca Connell and Ewan Henderson.
Celtic are currently second in the Scottish Premiership, 12 points behind leaders Rangers, who have a game in hand. They are also in the last 32 of the Europa League, where they will face Real Betis.