Celtic-linked Richard Hughes' fascinating insight into Eddie Howe recruitment process

By Euan Davidson

May 25, 2021

A podcast with Richard Hughes has exemplified how important likely Celtic manager Eddie Howe can be in player recruitment.

The podcast, aired in November 2020, features a nearly hour-and-a-half hour chat with the Bournemouth Technical Director. Born in Glasgow, but raised in Italy, Hughes spent his entire professional career in England. He also won 5 Scotland caps, but suffice it to say, his accent is very interesting.

What’s more interesting, though, is Hughes’ details about recruitment. Celtic face an uphill battle reinvigorating a squad that disappointed in 20-21. However, through their assault on the league pyramid in England, Hughes and Howe clearly had it worked out.

Hughes told Bournemouth’s official YouTube page:

“You play your trump cards when you’re recruiting.

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“The ones we’ve had historically… clearly, the revolution from where we came from to Premier League was a well-documented story. It was a story that people from outwith the town perhaps didn’t know a lot of the time. You’re educating people on that front. It’s a really good story on that front and we told it.

“And [secondly], the people who played a part in that story. As well as the fans of course, [it] principally was Eddie. He’s your trump card. You go into [a] negotiation saying “we’ve got the brightest young English manager in the country”, and you wouldn’t have anyone disagree with that.”

Hughes in action for Scotland / (Photo by WILLIE VASS/AFP via Getty Images)

Eddie Howe and Richard Hughes relationship could be key for Celtic

Hughes continued:

“We then developed recruitment videos, which I’m surprised they’ve not entered people’s circulation. I sent them out by email and you never know where they go. But in those emails we split it into 3 videos: the history of the club, the coaching and technical side of things, where we feature heavily on management and coaching staff, and the development of players, which is something we pride ourselves on doing.

“Then, of course, a separate video on the location. Just educating people that might never have been to Bournemouth.”

This is exciting stuff for Celtic fans. While there were a couple of transfer flops in Howe’s time at Bournemouth, his recruitment clearly worked overall. Particular successes like Ryan Fraser, Nathan Aké and Josh King show that Howe and Hughes got it right more often than not.

Although it’s an old clip, it also shows the Hughes-Howe dynamic in action. The two of them clearly had a plan to execute with each and every transfer target. Given their collective successes, it’d be hard to argue the plan didn’t work. It also shows how important Hughes is to the next Celtic boss, and why his signature is important in Celtic’s quest to hire their preferred candidate.

A summer of drama awaits.

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