Celtic boss comments on transfer strategy and restructuring; fans will love it
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has said that the club will never be the kind to spend big on transfer fees, and that youth recruitment and development are vital for the future.
Fans have seen some large investments in recent years, mind. Odsonne Edouard was signed for £9m from PSG, while much-maligned duo Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti cost £4.5m each, depending on sources.
That said, in the modern footballing market, the TV deals in Scotland and the financial model of the club mean we’re unlikely to break that record fee for Odsonne Edouard any time soon. There is good news, though; Ange has said the club are restructuring to get the best from the Celtic Academy.
Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]:
“We’re never going to be a club that splashes out. We just don’t have the financial resources to do that, we’ll never be at the level when you see the economy of world football. So we’ve got to be really efficient in how we deal with both producing players and players we bring in.
“A big part of it for me is definitely the Academy pipeline. One of the areas we’re really concentrating on in terms of restructuring [is] making sure we’re really spot on with both our coaching development and scouting of young players. It will become a great emphasis.
“It’ll be ideal for me if we can always, every year, top up with players coming through our own processes. Meaning that they already understand how we play, they’ve already worked with us, they understand the club and its values and the expectations around it. It makes a lot easier [than] trying to bring in a whole new breed of people every sort of 2 or 3 years.”
By looking back to the 60s and 70s, Celtic and Ange Postecoglou can implement a more lasting transfer and development strategy
Bringing through talent has been a cornerstone of Celtic since the beginning. The best examples, of course, are the Lisbon Lions and the Quality Street Gang. Plenty of members of the ’88 Centenary team came through the ranks, as well. There’s a proud history there.
For a period – a glorious one for the club – the backbone of the team was Academy players. When the Lions were winding down their playing careers, the likes of McGrain, Dalglish and later Aitken were ready and able to step up. That’s the ideal, that’s how it should be.
So it’s very encouraging to hear Ange Postecoglou talk this way. It’d be great if every summer, instead of Celtic panicking around the transfer window closing, there were Academy talents equipped to make the grade.
You could argue it’s wishful thinking, but it can happen. We’ve seen plenty of Academy graduates play substantial roles this season, from resurgent Anthony Ralston to veteran James Forrest.
Their entrances to the first team, however, were staggered. The pathway needs to be better. That Celtic are actively restructuring should be music to fans’ ears.
It’s extremely encouraging stuff from Ange Postecoglou. It’s the way iconic Celtic teams have been built. Moreover, it suggests a long-term vision that includes the lovable Greek-Aussie boss.