Celtic are carrying out clear changes in transfer strategy this summer
As Ange Postecoglou continues to put his stamp on Celtic, it’s been clear to see that certain changes have been made to our transfer strategy.
Celtic have been reinvigorated by the Greek-Australian’s arrival. The football being played has been exciting and enjoyable for supporters to watch.
Much of this has been down to the success of some of his new signings. The likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Joe Hart, and Liel Abada have Celtic fans hopeful for what lies ahead. And whilst we’ve yet to see Carl Starfelt and James McCarthy become major players, they undoubtedly have the talent and experience to make their mark here too.
Celtic supporters, meanwhile, could be forgiven for wondering where the loan signings are. After all, Neil Lennon sanctioned four of them last season. Jonjoe Kenny arrived in January after Shane Duffy, Diego Laxalt, and Mohamed Elyounoussi all arrived on temporary deals.
Whilst Celtic were linked with a loan move for Yan Couto this summer [The Herald], so far none have arrived at the club. Instead, we’ve managed to sign proven talents who have shone in other respectable divisions on permanent moves.
The likes of Hart and McCarthy, for example, shone in the EPL. Furuhashi was one of the J-League’s best players. Starfelt had proved himself in Russia. As for Abada, he’s the only youngster we’ve signed, and even then he was acquired because he could make a difference right away.
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Look at the age demographic of the talents we’ve signed. McCarthy and Hart are both beyond their 30th birthdays. Furuhashi and Starfelt are both 26. Even the players we’ve been linked with come with plenty of experience too. Josip Juranovic is 26 and a Croatian international. Thomas Henry? The same age with over 150 senior appearances to his name [Transfermarkt].
No emphasis from Celtic in signing long-term projects this summer
Gone seem to be the days of Celtic investing heavily in unknown project signings that aren’t good enough for the club. There have been no signs of a move similar to that of a Vakoun Bayo or Patryk Klimala. No Marian Shveds or Eboue Kouassis.
Yes, some will point out the signings of Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide, and Bosun Lawal. However, Celtic only spent £300k on Shaw [The Star] and £200k for Urhoghide [Scotsman]. These aren’t heavy investments that took a lot out of our budget like previous deals have done. There’s room for both, and that’s something the manager seems to understand.
Every other player acquired has been thrown straight into the first team. And all of them bring a maturity to their game. Something we couldn’t say about many of our project signings in the past.
Incomings such as Hart and McCarthy aren’t made with the prospect of big sell-on fees further down the line. Whilst players in their mid-20s can be worth their weight in transfer fees in the future, you limit yourself given how close they’ll be to 30 when they do depart.
Celtic no longer appear to have their transfer strategy fixated on pound signs 18 months later. Postecoglou clearly wants a team of exciting but experienced stars who can make the Hoops title contenders immediately.
Yes, money needs to be made in transfer sales at some stage in the future. If your team performs well, however, there will always be buyers for its most productive talents.
Right now, Postecoglou doesn’t appear interested in expensive long-term projects that will take a year or two to integrate. He doesn’t care much for the buy low, sell high specification we previously put on too many deals.
Any exciting products snapped up must be able to make an impact immediately. Loan moves? Not something that appears to excite the new Celtic boss either.
It appears, as we continue our progress under the new regime, that our transfer policy is shifting. And it’s fair to say it’s long overdue.