Braga loan star Yan Couto left Celtic Park wowed by the supporters

By David Walton

October 18, 2021

Braga defender Yan Couto left Celtic Park amazed with the support and atmosphere, according to former Hoops defender Gary Caldwell.

Caldwell is currently the Loan Manager for the Etihad club. That means he plays a key role in keeping tabs with City players’ development during their time at the club. Couto is one of those after joining Braga in Portugal over the summer.

This came after a summer of speculation linking the player with Parkhead. Celtic even rolled out the VIP treatment for him to take in a game against Jablonec [The Herald]. In the end, the right-back signed for Braga for the season whilst the Hoops snapped up Josip Juranovic from Legia Warsaw.

Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

But it’s fair to say Couto left Parkhead impressed with the occasion. Touching on the player and why the move fell apart, City loan manager Caldwell said the following on Clyde 1’s Superscoreboard:

“He was going to go there on loan. We actually spoke about it when I was at his house. He said the stadium and the supporters were incredible.

“He felt like the language barrier would have been a big thing and he has settled quickly in Portugal. So he has probably made the right decision for his career development but he did mention when he was out of the stadium, the supporters, he said it was incredible.

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“And he was drawn by that but he decided to go to Braga.”

Yan Couto thriving in Braga but Celtic can be satisfied with right-back business

Couto certainly would’ve been an interesting one. A Brazil U17 international, there’s plenty of potential there after a successful loan stint with Girona last season. However, the issue with this one was that it was always only going to be a loan move.

In Juranovic, Celtic have managed to bag a Croatian regular who’s here for the long-term. Chances are, if he develops further, we’ll be able to make a sizable profit on his sale. The same can’t be said for if we managed to sign Couto.

You also have the fact that it undermines the idea of a rebuild or any potential squad building. Couto was only going to be here temporarily. It was always going to be unlikely for us to buy him permanently after that too – especially given how highly he’s rated at Man City.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Even if he would’ve been a quality addition, it wouldn’t have helped us in the long run. We know the quality Juranovic possesses. We’ve seen it shine through already even if he’s carrying a knock at the moment.

There’s a reason supporters don’t look back on this one with any regrets. We already have 2 loan players at the club just now. Adding a third would’ve let to even more uncertainty over another key member of the squad.

In moving for Juranovic, we’ve managed to avoid that.

In other news, Why Tom Rogic and David Turnbull thrived together for Celtic at Fir Park