Lennon buoyed by arrivals

Bhoys boss pleased to see Hooper and Commons proving worth

Hooper: Among the goals

Commons: Has settled quickly

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Neil Lennon is delighted to see Gary Hooper and Kris Commons justifying the faith he has shown in them.

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The Celtic boss has been forced to work to a budget in recent times, forcing him to unearth potential bargains in the transfer market.

Among those he took a punt on is former Scunthorpe striker Hooper, who was snapped up for £2.4million last summer.

The 23-year-old arrived having never graced the top flight of English football, meaning he still had plenty to prove.

He has, however, been a resounding success in Scotland, with 15 goals plundered so far, including a brace in Celtic's 3-0 victory over Old Firm rivals Rangers on Sunday.

Asked if Hooper is, pound for pound, his best purchase, Lennon said: "That's a good question. I don't know. I'll let you know at the end of the season.

"He's excellent. He's only 23, let's give the kid a bit of time to see how his career progresses but I think we can all see what a good all-round player he is.

"He has always been a good player. He is a good footballer, has a great first touch.

"His first touch took him away from David Weir, he left him in his wake and it was a wonderful finish. Once he gets in there, you always fancy him to score.

"He made up some ground for the second goal and it was a beautiful goal."


Also on target over the weekend was Commons, a man drafted in during the January transfer window to bring added creativity to the Celtic ranks.

The former Nottingham Forest and Derby winger has hit the ground running at Parkhead, with Lennon pleased to see a mid-season gamble pay off.

The Hoops boss said: "We spent £300,000 on Kris Commons and I think that was a decent bit of business and we are pretty happy with the way things are going so far.

"He has performed very well and he is a better player now that he was when I was at Nottingham Forest with him.

"I'm delighted with his form so far. There is a maturity about him: he's 27 and nothing seems to faze him.

"He's always had an eye for goal but he can go past people and provide a good delivery so we are delighted with his contribution."