Scout Report: Aidan Nesbitt- The Scottish Wonderkid
A few Premier League stars have emerged from the neighbouring Scottish Premiership over the last decade or so. In 2005, Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta made a move to Everton, after spending two years with Glasgow-based club Rangers. A year later, Bulgarian midfielder Stiliyan Petrov was recruited to Aston Villa from Celtic. In 2009, newly promoted side Burnley brought Scotsman Steven Fletcher from Hibs. After a couple of brilliant seasons with Celtic, English goalkeeper Fraser Forster was picked up by Southampton in 2014. In 2016, Premier League scouts are raving about one player in particular; Meet Aiden Nesbitt- Scottish football’s next big thing.
Nesbitt was born on February 5th, 1997 in Scotland. He is a product of the academy system in Celtic. The talented attacking midfielder impressed the scouts in a couple of lower division games and was eventually picked up by Celtic in 2014. 17 years old then, Nesbitt spent two seasons in their youth system. He produced brilliant performances in the U-17 and U-19 levels and won Celtic’s Academy Player of the Year award in 2015. Nesbitt has done well at the youth level, scoring in and winning the U-17 Glasgow Cup and Scottish FA Youth Cup Finals in successive seasons. He was loaned out to fellow Scottish club Park Thistle until the end of the 2015-16 season. He excelled during his loan period and produced a couple of man of the match performances for the club. With the presence of Anthony Stokes, Nadir Ciftci, and Gary Mckay Steven, Nesbitt has gained a lot of confidence and has grown as a footballer.
Style of Play:
The Scotsman is a fast, agile attacking midfielder with an eye for a pass and hunger to perform. He has the ability and desire to penetrate opposition defences. His dribbling skills are eye catching and also thrives on passing.
Nesbitt is a versatile player. An attacking midfielder by trade, the Scotsman can play as a striker. Celtic U-20 coach Stevie Frail deploys him at right wing, a position which brings out the best in him. Blessed with blistering pace, the 19-year-old skips past his opponents in a flash. Despite being played as a winger, Nesbitt is an instinctive finisher and can net goals time and again. He exploits any space given to him on the flanks and cuts in brilliantly to dribble past the defenders. His first touch is also an evident attribute. It suits Celtic’s counter-attacking style of play, often taking out defenders from the game. Nesbitt excels in set piece duties. He delivers dangerous crosses into the box and can score the odd goal from long range. Even at 19 years of age, the teenager is the complete package.
Due to his modest height and build, Nesbitt is not the best in holding onto the ball. He often gets dispossessed by a taller and stronger opponent. He needs to work on his tackling skills. Due to the frustrations of getting dispossessed, Nesbitt produces a couple of rash challenges which yield yellow cards. His defending skills are not the greatest and can be exposed significantly in the air. The midfielder is not a believer in the art of tracking back and helping out one’s team-mates. Being only 19, Nesbitt has not matured completely and does not possess the ability to read the game and control his actions in a justified manner.
“Aidan is one of the best young prospects in Scottish football so we are delighted to get him and hopefully, he will fulfil his full potential with us. Celtic know I’ve always been a big admirer of the boy and I enquired at the start of the window to see what might be happening. I think it’s a good signing for us because be brings a bit of creativity that we’ve been missing. We have been lacking goals and hopefully he will bring that to the squad. He’s at a level where Development level is too easy for him because he’s scoring week in, week out in these games, so this is a challenge for him. He knows he’ll need to fight for his place, but I am sure that he will come up the ranks and become one of the best players in Scottish history.” Patrick Thistle boss Alan Archibald seems to be impressed with the teenager. (Source: dailyrecord)
Nesbitt has shown his potential and has enough talent to play in a bigger league like ‘The Championship’ (Second division in England) or with smaller clubs in the Premier League (Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Burnley) and La Liga (Levante, Rayo Vallecano, Malaga). The teenager is on the radar of plenty of Premier League scouts and can secure a move to England in the next two years. It is up to Nesbitt on making decisions which will establish him as one of the greatest midfielders in the United Kingdom.