Football

Video: Aiden McGeady Explains Why He Left Celtic & Priceless Garry O’Connor Advice

Video: Aiden McGeady Explains Why He Left Celtic & Priceless Garry O’Connor Advice

Aiden McGeady has explained exactly why and how he left Celtic for Spartak Moscow seven years ago, and seems to suggest the Hoops hierarchy were pretty keen to see him go.

Having graduated through the Celtic youth academy, McGeady had matured into one the club’s best players back in 2010 and was a firm favourite amongst supporters.

But when Neil Lennon became the club’s permanent manager that summer, Spartak launched a whopping £10 million bid for McGeady’s services – and Lennon eventually talked him into making the move.

From 9:05 in the latest instalment of his interview with Open Goal Sport, McGeady discusses his spell in Russia, and explains how he thought his progression had stagnated somewhat in the Scottish Premiership.

He said: “I felt like I’d achieved everything I wanted to at Celtic. I though I wasn’t progressing the way that I might’ve and I thought I was maybe starting to level out a little bit.

And on advice from Lennon, McGeady added: “Celtic made it more difficult for me to go to England because they wanted the most amount of money that they could get for me…Lenny pulled me into the office for a chat.

“He had the calculator out and he was like ‘here’s what you could be missing out on if you don’t go to Spartak’ and I was like ‘I know Lenny, but I’m not massively money orientated really and I’m not on peanuts here either.'”

In the end, McGeady made the move to the Russian Premier League, and perhaps a bit of Garry O’Conner advice helped him take the plunge.

Whilst McGeady was weighing up his options, he bumped into O’Connor whilst out shopping and the striker had previously enjoyed a spell at Lokomotiv Moscow.

And from 14:38 in the clip above, McGeady recalls his comments.

“I met Garry O’Conner in Edinburgh in Harvey Nichols and he just came charging over to me.

“I said ‘what was Russia like?’ he was like ‘birds: amazing, money: amazing and nightlife: amazing. I’m telling you, go!’

“I didn’t really go for any of those reasons but he was saying that to me, and when I went across I could see myself living here.”

The Republic of Ireland international spent four seasons with Spartak before joining Everton in 2014.

But did Celtic let him too soon? And what do you make of his reasons for leaving the Hoops?

Let us know in the comments section below…

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