Where did it all go wrong for Sead Hakšabanović at Celtic?

The tale of Sead Haksabanovic’s Celtic career is a strange one, with the Montenegrin seeing a loan exit swiftly materialise after an Instagram post came accompanied with the caption: “If they don’t see your value maybe you’re not at the right place”.

Fans didn’t respond well to this and neither did Brendan Rodgers, with Haksabanovic heading out on loan to English Championship side Stoke City on loan until the end of the season, with a permanent exit from the club probably following on from it.

He showed some initial promise with things swiftly heading downhill from there, but where did things go wrong for Sead Haksabanovic at Celtic?

Early promise

The Montenegrin had shown some promise as a young player, enough to earn himself a move to Premier League side West Ham, but that move ultimately didn’t provide the best of results.

Haksabanovic signed for Celtic from Rubin Kazan last summer for a fee in the region of €2.5m and he seemed to fit the consistent tag that followed Ange Postecoglou’s signings as someone who had a point to prove.

Good performances from the bench led to fans being eager to see more of a player who was quickly being called a maverick. A double in a 4-2 home win over Dundee United as well as a pair of starts in the UEFA Champions League against RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk quickly gained him the tag of ‘cult hero’ and fans were predicting big things for him.

Supporters were excited and knew something was going to happen when he was on the ball, but where did it all go downhill after looking so bright?

Lack of an impact from the start

The turn of the year saw Haksabanovic’s minutes start to dwindle with the winger being relegated to the bench but still consistently making a positive impact on the game whenever he was brought on. The problem from January onwards, however, was that whenever he was afforded a start, he failed to grab it by the scruff of the neck and push his game onwards, continuously going missing and failing to impact the game.

Games were consistently passing him by and, with Brendan Rodgers coming into Parkhead to replace Postecoglou, Haksabanovic quickly fell down the pecking order and out of favour.


Unhappiness at game time

Rodgers clearly wasn’t a fan of Haksabanovic and that is evident in his game time at the start of the season, only seeing 45 minutes of competitive football so far.

A potential move to play as an attacking midfielder for Celtic never fully materialised and he was growing frustrated with a lack of game time, this all resulting in the aforementioned Instagram post which sealed his fate at Celtic.

Whilst showing glimpses of quality, consistency was always missing from Haksabanovic’s game and he was never able to build upon his appearances from the bench and turn it into a top quality performance over the course of 90 minutes. The fact that his frustrations were vented so publicly and in such a disrespectful manner means that a future at Celtic following the loan spell in Stoke is incredibly unlikely.

JAMES MCKENZIE – Follow James online HERE.

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