Beautiful, magical. Scott Sinclair incredibly played the most games throughout Celtic’s triumphant treble treble, appearing 127 times. 52 wonderful goals saw him become the club’s top scorer over the 3 seasons, bagging 3 hattricks – a feat only matched by Moussa Dembele. Not bad for a winger – did I mention he’s as fast as lightning?
2016/17 – Invincible Treble
Few Celtic signings have had such an impact in their first season than Scotty Sinclair. Scoring the winner against Hearts on the same day as signing then going onto score in each of his first 6 games, beating the legend that is Jimmy McGrory’s 80 odd year-old record. He was the kind of signing that we needed but didn’t know it.
A fee of £3.5m for a 27-year-old, ex-Man City, Chelsea, Swansea and Aston Villa winger seemed reasonably cheap but we could have paid a record fee looking for a player with as big an impact as him. When people look up ‘instant impact’ in the dictionary, it is a photo of Scott Sinclair. Scoring the winner on the day he arrived at the club and then going on to score in his first 6 league games, including goals against Rangers, Aberdeen and Killie – he was certainly living up to his name. He finished the season with 25 goals, 21 in the league, including 4 against Rangers. The team finished that season unbeaten in all domestic competitions as they secured the 4th Treble in Celtics history. Individually, Sinclair won Celtic’s Player and Players Player of the Year, as well as the PFA Player of the Year and Scottish Writers Player of the Year. He was also Celtic’s top scorer in the league. These stats were unreal, and the way that he played and the energy that he brought to the team meant that he was becoming a real asset and one of the best players at the club. The fans started to love him, and Sinclair loved them.
“This is the best time and the happiest time in my career right now. To have the connection with the fans and all of them who voted for me, it just means so much to me.”
2017/18 – Double Treble
Many went into the 2017/18 season thinking that Sinclair would be able to replicate his form, and he was looking like he could as he scored 3 goals in Celtic’s first 5 league games. Sinclair’s goal scoring touch made a difference again as he finished top scorer with 18 goals, 10 in the league. Celtic’s lack of goals overall compared to the previous season could clearly be seen, as they scored 26 goals less in total and 33 less in the league. In games where Celtic needed a spark, Sinclair provided it. Even when Celtic got a penalty, we all had confidence that Sinclair would score it.
The main reason that we relied on him so much was due to the injuries suffered by Moussa Dembele. We only got to see one season with both of them firing on all cylinders, so just think what could have been if Dembele had played more that season. Sinclair’s style of play suited Rodgers’ style to a tee: build from the back and cut in from the wide areas. He scored many different types of goals, but personally I love to see him cutting in on his right foot and curling one into the far corner.
Despite his goal scoring, many people took their frustrations at Celtic’s lack of goals out on the Englishman. Because he wasn’t scoring as regularly as he did the season before, fans took their frustrations out on Sinclair. Despite this, Celtic went on to win another domestic treble as Sinclair finished top scorer. It was a real fairy-tale era for the club and Sinclair was loving it. Despite the criticism, Celtic fans came up with one of the best chants we have seen in recent years. Go on, you know the words.
2018/19 – Treble Treble
The 2018/19 season again saw Sinclair’s important goal scoring ability for the Hoops, but also more criticism for the winger. Naturally, as wingers get older, they must change their game to adapt to their change in bodies. Sinclair’s style of play in his first two seasons was to run at the defence and dribble past them, but because he couldn’t do this as much anymore, he changed his game to save his energy. Numerous times over the course of the season he took the flak again for the teams poor performances. Fans called him lazy and said he couldn’t be bothered, yet he still scored numerous valuable goals for the team. This included a hat-trick against Aberdeen at Pittodrie and a hat-trick against St Johnstone. He finished the season with 17 goals, again breaking the 15-goal mark as Celtic completed their third domestic treble in a row. Sinclair has never lost a trophy as a Celtic player, contributing to one of Celtic’s greatest periods in their history, and his goals have massively contributed to this.
Few can deny his worth to the squad in terms of goals, and his personality off the field has also been vital. His professionalism has rubbed off on many of the younger players, and the stick that he has received constantly from his own fans is nothing short of embarrassing. He has been one of Celtic’s most influential players of this golden period and people fail to see that at times. Recently, we have heard of rumoured £2.5m bids for Sinclair; I think this is an insult. Although his form may be declining, he could still guarantee you 10+ goals a season and in important games. He will always give his all, even though it may not look like it. Right now, if I were to pick one Celtic player to have a chance at goal from anywhere inside the box, I would have to pick Sinclair. Even though Edouard is clinical, Sinclair’s stats prove that he is one of the best finishers at the club, and he deserves to be appreciated more.