O'Connor tips Bhoys hit Hooper
Michael O'Connor has tipped Gary Hooper to be a hit at Celtic should his transfer to the club go through.
Last Updated: 25/07/10 5:22pm
Scunthorpe's Michael O'Connor has tipped Gary Hooper to be a hit at Celtic should his proposed transfer to the Scottish club go through.
Hooper is primed to join Neil Lennon's team from the Championship club as a replacement for Scott McDonald, who left the Bhoys in January to sign for Middlesbrough.
Lennon has gone about rebuilding the Celtic squad in the close season after Tony Mowbray's ill-fated reign as manager left the club reeling and Hooper could prove to a key addition this season.
Five new faces have arrived at Celtic Park, with Hooper next in line, and O'Connor says his colleague will continue a vein of form that has seen him plunder 50 goals in two seasons at the Iron.
O'Connor revealed 22-year-old Hooper spoke to him about the prospect of switching Glanford Park for Parkhead and the midfielder had no doubts about what he should do.
He spoke so highly of Hooper that he even backed him to better the feats of McDonald at Celtic, with many feeling his departure was the biggest mistake of the Mowbray era.
O'Connor said of Hooper: "He is one of the best players I have played with, he is different class. If he goes to Celtic I will put a few quid on him to be top scorer in Scotland next season. I think he will get 25 to 30 goals up there.
"He scored 19 or 20 in the Championship last season even though he missed out on around 16 games. (Scunthorpe defender) Rob Jones, who used to play for Hibs, thinks along the same lines.
"Hoops is small, stocky, strong, quick off the mark and has a great strike. He is the same build as Scott McDonald but he is a better player, he has a better strike on him. He will score more goals than him."
The Northern Ireland international continued: "Hoops knows I am a Celtic fan and he asked me towards the end of the season about the club.
"I knew Middlesbrough were interested in him but I said if it was between Celtic and any Championship side then he should go to Celtic.
"He's a quiet lad but once he gets settled in up there and bonds with the players then he will do fine. It's a great move for him and for Celtic."