Shankland’s POTY award could price him out of dream move

Lawrence Shankland was named as the PFA Scotland player of the year at the weekend.

 Lawrence Shankland vies with Liam Scales during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on December 16, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Hearts and Scotland man has had a fine season scoring 21 league goals so far helping his side to a third place finish, and arguably deserves the award. But it further demonstrates how poor our league has been this season when you compare him to previous winners of the award.

Matt O’Riley had a superb start to the season

The other candidates were Jack Butland, a goalkeeper who is rarely tested. James Tavernier, a penalty taking king whose goals mask his poor defensive ability, and our very own Matt O’Riley who had a superb start to the season, but by his own standards has been below par since the beginning of the year.

Celtic v Hearts –  Joe Hart left with Callum McGregor after the 3-0 victory in the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park on Saturday May 4, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

However that has changed in recent weeks and Matt’s magic was there for all to see – including Lawrence Shankland in Celtic’s impressive 3-0 win over Hearts on Saturday.

Just think back to last season, the shortlist was Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor, Kyogo and Kevin Van Veen. All quality players who contributed massively with skill and goals.

Shankland may be a worthy winner, and while he has no problem finding the net, his overall play is poor. He’s not what you would call an all-round striker, and one I don’t see many clubs pushing the boat out for this summer.

A move from Hearts is now on the cards

Shankland has admitted that a move from Hearts is now on the cards for this summer and I think we all know where he’d ideally like to play his football. Hearts will hold out for top dollar for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year and so they should.

Will his new status put Shankland out of reach financially for theRangers? That would be amusing to say the least.

The quality of football in this country has been heavily criticised this season, and the player of the year winner and shortlist is full testament to that.

However as much as we’d all have liked Matt O’Riley to win it, Shankland’s individual contribution to Hearts this season is greater than any other player at any other club so fair play to him.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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