The Sliding Doors of Fate: How Liam Scales Went from Near Exit to Celtic's Key Man
Life has a funny way of presenting opportunities when you least expect them. For Liam Scales, the young Irish defender, the summer of 2023 seemed to be a crossroads. After a loan spell at Aberdeen, where he had impressed with a stunning long-range goal against Rangers, the rumour mill was buzzing with talks of a permanent transfer. But as fate would have it, injuries in the Celtic squad opened the door for him to don the green and white hoops once again, and he hasn't looked back since.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Scales began his professional career at UCD before making the move to Shamrock Rovers. His performances caught the eye of scouts far and wide, and in September 2021, he realised a dream by signing for Celtic. "It's the stuff of dreams," he said at the time. However, the dream seemed to be short-lived as he found himself loaned out to Aberdeen for the 2022-2023 season.
At Aberdeen, Scales became a key figure in the team's defence, even scoring a memorable long-range goal against Rangers that helped secure a 2-0 win. His performances were so impressive that talks of a permanent move to Aberdeen began to surface. But just when it seemed like his Celtic journey was coming to an end, a twist of fate saw him called back into the starting 11 due to injuries.
Since the St Johnstone game, Scales has been nothing short of sensational. He was the Man of the Match in the away win against Glasgow rivals Rangers, a performance he described as "amazing." "I haven't experienced anything like this and the intensity and the magnitude of the fixture which is huge. It's hard to put into words," he said after the game. His defensive prowess has also been a significant factor in Celtic keeping three clean sheets since his return, including that crucial win at Ibrox.
"We didn't play as individuals; we played as a single unit, and that's what won us the game," Scales noted, encapsulating the team spirit that has been evident since his return. His performances have not only solidified his place in the team but have also endeared him to the Celtic faithful. "It's brilliant to do that for the fans back home and it's extra special. I hope they're all having a good time. My phone is popping with messages, and they're all delighted," he added.
But it's not just the fans who are delighted; Scales himself seems to have found a new lease of life at Celtic Park. "I'm tired, but I'm feeling great. It was a great win and a good performance and great to get another clean sheet," he said, reflecting on his Man of the Match performance at Ibrox.
So, what does the future hold for Liam Scales? With his current form, it's hard to see him being anything but a key figure in Celtic's plans for the seasons to come. The sliding doors of fate have swung open for him, and he's seized the opportunity with both hands. From being on the verge of a permanent exit to becoming an indispensable part of the Celtic defence, Scales' story is a testament to the unpredictability of football and life.
In a sport where fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, Liam Scales has shown that when one door closes, another opens. And as he puts it, "At the same time, you have to get up tomorrow and get to work because it's just three points at the end of the day and it's not worth any more than the next game." Wise words from a young man who has seen both sides of football's ever-spinning coin and has come out stronger for it.