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Neil Lennon: 'Gary Hooper best Celtic striker since Henrik Larsson'

Lennon: 'Hooper best since Larsson'
© PA Photos
Celtic boss Neil Lennon heaps praise upon outgoing striker Gary Hooper, comparing him to club legend Henrik Larsson.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed his belief that Gary Hooper was the best striker the club have had since Henrik Larsson.

Hooper confirmed his departure from the Scottish champions earlier this afternoon, signing a four-year deal with Norwich City having scored 82 goals in 149 appearances for the Glasgow club.

Lennon was quick to praise Hooper's contribution during his three years at Parkhead, rating him as one of his best signings and comparing him to club legend Larsson, who netted 242 times in 315 matches.

"For me he has been one of my best signings in so many ways. For value for money, improvement, his goals obviously and link-up play," Lennon told reporters.

"I think he's been the best striker here since Henrik and he will be a huge loss to us, but we have to move on.

"He came to me in Germany and he was honest enough to say his ambition was to play in England and he would like the opportunity to take. He has aspirations to play for England, aspirations to play in the Premier League and he's got that now. I wish him well."

Despite acknowledging that it is a big loss, Lennon claims that he is excited by the challenge of finding Hooper's replacement.

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon with the SPL trophy on May 11, 2013
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