Nine forgotten Celtic loan stars set to return to the club this summer on which Eddie Howe could reverse the rule

FIRST Steve Cook, now Josh King.

SunSport has led the way when it comes to identifying players Eddie Howe could bring with him to Celtic as he gets closer to Parkhead’s hot seat.

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Eddie Howe – assuming there aren’t any last-minute snags – will inherit some return loan signatures

But it’s easy to forget that Parkhead’s new supremo, when confirmed, will also have a veritable army of returning loan players to lead the ruler this summer.

Here, SunSport takes a look at the senior Celtic stars who will return to the club after loan spells this summer, wondering if they have a role to play in its Parkhead revolution.

Some of them still have a lot of time on their contracts.

Olivier Ntcham

WE told you last month that the French midfielder’s ill-fated loan to Marseille has NO chance of becoming permanent.

Various reports in French media have claimed he is set to return to Parkhead for the final year of his season, with Marseille being credited with an interest in Toulouse youngster Amine Adli.

Olivier Ntcham will return to Celtic this summer from Marseille

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Olivier Ntcham will return to Celtic this summer from Marseille

A frustrating player who doesn’t lack ability when focused, Ntcham’s loan to the south of France got off to a bad start when manager Andre Villas-Boas resigned in protest as he was signed against his will.

With one year off his current contract at Parkhead, Howe must decide whether to move him again or try to make him listen to reason.

Boli Bolingoli

The Hoops’ Covid-19 rule breaker is another man expected to return to the club in June.

Left with his tail between his legs shortly after racking up a ban and causing an uproar for ignoring quarantine restrictions on an unauthorized stopping trip to Spain.

Celtic outcast Boli Bolingoli in action for Istanbul Basaksehir against RB Leipzig

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Celtic outcast Boli Bolingoli in action for Istanbul Basaksehir against RB LeipzigCredit: EPA

Hit the ground running at his Turkish clubs Basaksehirspor but has not played since suffering a serious injury in January.

Only 25 years old and an excellent athlete, could Howe decide he has a future?

It remains to be seen whether Basaksehir Sport or someone else will make a firm transfer offer for a player who has two years left on his Parkhead contract.

Jack Hendry

Looking at the role with Scotland now, Hendry still has a year left on his current contract – but anyone can guess where he’ll see it.

The center-back – snatched from Dundee – turned his fortune in Belgium with Oostende, who would like to make this arrangement permanent.

Jack Hendry receives a pep talk from Steve Clarke

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Jack Hendry receives a pep talk from Steve Clarke

A call option estimated at around £ 2million is believed to exist – although it is not clear whether the Hoops are OBLIGED to sell.

Otherwise, despite being bombarded by Neil Lennon after being initially discussed by Brendan Rodgers, he’s the kind of player that Hoops’ new boss could build around if he’s ready to extend his contract.

Could still have a key role to play with Kris Ajer appearing likely to leave and Christopher Jullien has laid down with injury.

Maryan shved

A fully-fledged Ukrainian international, Shved has been a man of mystery since almost day one of his Celtic career.

Brendan Rodgers shrugged and seemed to know little about the star when asked about the player the club had just bought.

Maryan Shved will return to Parkhead
Maryan Shved will return to Parkhead

Immediately on loan to Karpaty Lviv after arriving on January 19, he scored in his debut in a Champions League qualifier against Estonians Nomme Kalju.

But that was about it – until this season’s loan in Mechelen.

After an initial poor start, things turned around as there were allegations the Belgians might even want to sign the 23-year-old for a fee of £ 2million.


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But with a contract at Parkhead until 2023, that no longer appears to be the case.

He said: “At the moment the situation is that I will have to return to Glasgow at the end of the season because I have a contract with Celtic.

“What will happen next … I don’t know.”

Vakoun Issouf Bayo

The full-fledged Ivorian international striker is on the eve of a successful promotion campaign with Toulouse.

While the French side have a boy option, six goals in 24 outings for the French side aren’t exactly statistics to write about.

Is Bayo's last chance for a Celtic future gone?

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Is Bayo’s last chance for a Celtic future gone?Credit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

Has a decent scoring record on the rare occasions he plays for the Hoops and has a year left on his contract.

But it would be a long shot to make the grade in the new era at Celtic.

Manny Perez

The cap for young Americans, who can play in midfield or defense, was signed shortly before Brendan Rodgers left the club.

He still has a year left on his current contract – after being dogged by work permit issues and spending last season on loan with North Carolina FC in the US second tier.

Manny Perez (middle) on a rare sighting in Lennoxtown
Manny Perez (middle) on a rare sighting in Lennoxtown

Perez added: “I arrived just before Brendan Rodgers left Celtic. I had a lot of good conversations with him.

“I speak Spanish and so does he, so it was fun talking to him. He was really nice to the players. “

Although Howe and Rodgers are close, no one can guess if his face will fit into the new regime.

Jonathan afolabi

Now 21, the Irish leader is highly rated at Parkhead to have a contract that will take him through the summer of 23.

Hibs star Ryan Porteous tackles Dundee Hoops moneylender Jonathan Afolabi

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Hibs star Ryan Porteous tackles Dundee Hoops moneylender Jonathan AfolabiCredit: Andy Barr – The Sun Glasgow

Spent the season on loan at Dundee, having spent the previous campaign at Dunfermline, although he would have hoped to have started more games and scored more goals.

Having had a taste for first-team football, he will seek more of it this summer, when he has a new manager to impress.

Ewan Henderson

Ewan Henderson, the younger brother of Hibs Cup hero Liam, is another 21-year-old who has a record to defend for first-team football.

I’ve had varying tastes of first-team action, most recently during the club’s post-Dubai Covid crisis.

Ewan Henderson is highly rated at Parkhead

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Ewan Henderson is highly rated at ParkheadCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

Now on loan at Dunfermline, where he hopes to prove his worth in the play-offs.

He has a year left on his Parkhead contract where he hopes to use it to break into the first team – although the Hoops midfielder is already stacked.

Leo Hjelde

We told you how Southampton is interested in the Norwegian – currently on loan in Ross County.

Hjelde was on the right track against Kilmarnock
Hjelde was on the right track against Kilmarnock

Still only 17 years old and the son of former Rosenborg star Jon-Olav, Hjelde appears to have a great future in the game.

Whether the young southpaw can step straight into the Celtic squad is another question – although one of the stories this season has been Stephen Welsh’s performance.


Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers on the Scottish Sun football page


A look at Eddie Howe’s career as Celtic pursues former Bournemouth boss

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