DESPITE plenty of reinforcements arriving at Celtic this January, there is a prevailing feeling that one or two more would make the winter transfer window virtually perfect.

Since a deal for Australia international Riley McGree fell through, Ange Postecoglou has played down the notion that the abundance of transfer links meant the Hoops were poised to strengthen further.

He didn't rule it out, though, and it does seem to be the case that the club is indeed still in the market for a midfielder this window as reports emerged that a deal for Matt O'Riley of MK Dons is edging closer.

Celtic were one of a number of clubs linked with the midfielder after a standout spell in English League One with sides such as Blackburn, Swansea and Venezia all also thought to be interested.

With a reported £1.5million move to Parkhead now completed, we take a closer look at the 21-year-old...

Who is Matt O'Riley?

O'Riley is a former Fulham youth player and made his debut in the first-team in the League Cup as a 16-year-old. Around the same time, he was reportedly a target for Manchester United and Arsenal.

At 19, he bet on himself by turning down a new three-year deal at Fulham in favour of finding first-team football elsewhere. This was summer 2020 remember - the height of the pandemic. O'Riley ended up training with his father in local parks before MK Dons offered him the chance to train with them.

That turned into a permanent deal in January 2021. After a debut defeat to Charlton O'Riley helped the Dons - who earlier had been flirting with the relegation spots - rise as high as ninth before an eventual 13th-place finish.

Celtic Way:

He played over 2,000 minutes (about the equivalent of 23 games) and registered three goals and three assists in those first four months at Stadium MK.

The now 21-year-old has already topped that output in his first full season with the club, having found the net seven times and laid on five goals for his team-mates so far this term.

Internationally, O'Riley has represented England up to under-18 level. He is also eligible to represent Denmark and Norway thanks to his maternal lineage, with the Danish FA thought to be monitoring his situation closely.

Where does he fit in at Celtic?

On the face of it, Celtic's central midfield is well stocked.

As it stands there are already eight in the first-team squad, although David Turnbull is out injured and how much game-time the likes of Ismaila Soro and James McCarthy will legitimately be able to garner going forward is up for debate.

In practice, then, there is still a gap in the squad for a creative attacking midfielder to compete with Tom Rogic (and Turnbull, when he returns to fitness).

But does O'Riley fit that bill?

Former Fulham academy director Huw Jennings described a 16-year-old O'Riley as a "terrific passer" who "makes intelligent decisions" and it seems he has transitioned those qualities fairly well to full senior football so far.

Celtic Way:

He is an accurate passer who will attempt to break lines while the amount of shot assists he manufactures keeps pace with what Callum McGregor and Rogic bring to the table (although, notably, not with Turnbull).

While not a particularly efficient dribbler, O'Riley is reasonably mobile, chips in with his fair share of progressive runs and is beginning to edge towards Rogic and Turnbull territory with accurate passing into the opposition area too. As his heatmap below shows, he is happy to take up progressive positions and flit around the midfield as required.

Perhaps the biggest area for the 21-year-old to work on is his shooting accuracy. While he still finds the net impressively enough for a player in his position - and has thus far outperformed his xG by almost four as a senior player - the fact only a fraction over a quarter of his shots actually hit the target and so many are long-distance is a figure that leaves considerable room for improvement.

For some context, of all the outfielders Celtic have used this season, only Ismaila Soro (23.9 per cent) and Liam Shaw (25 per cent) miss the target more often in their careers. And for those no doubt wondering after the last two paragraphs, Ryan Christie's career accuracy is 39 per cent (36 per cent for that 2020-21 season).

Celtic Way:

 Celtic Way:

With creative numbers that are probably more accurately characterised as 'decent' than remarkable, it is fair to suggest O'Riley will need to improve to seriously challenge the Celtic first XI

There is scope to do that though - plenty of it. Still only in his second true season of senior football, O'Riley's rise at MK Dons has been swift; as well as becoming a key player he has been trusted with the captain's armband on occasion too.

Allied to those decent creative numbers O'Riley - at 6ft 2in - would also add height to the central areas that the current midfield has been accused of lacking somewhat.

In addition, he racks up four interceptions per 90 minutes and wins almost half of his aerial duels so there is a bit of defensive nous to his game to go with the attacking intent of this 'do-it-all' midfielder.

What they said...

"When I reflect on what I actually did, to leave Fulham when I had the option of just signing a contract in front of me, it was a bold decision. But it’s one that I feel has worked out really well, both on the pitch and for me as a person. It showed that I’m doing this for football, rather than anything else like a contract or a cheque.” - O'Riley himself, on his decision to reject a new deal at Fulham.

"Matt is a very talented midfielder... he has excellent creativity, is a terrific passer and makes intelligent decisions." - former Fulham academy director Huw Jennings.

"He’s a guy I've got a lot of respect for as a player and a person. I wish him nothing but success in his career. He’s having a fantastic season and lucky for MK Dons they have a player with so much ability." - Russell Martin, who signed O'Riley for MK Dons and reportedly wants him at Swansea.