Celtic miss out on Dutch youngster Milan van Ewijk

By Euan Davidson

May 13, 2021

Celtic have been beaten to the signature of ADO Den Haag right-back Milan van Ewijk.

In March, outlet VI claimed that the Bhoys had joined host of European clubs in chasing the 20-year-old. Ultimately, however, AD are reporting that Eredivisie side Heerenveen have won, with a bid of €600,000.

It’s a potential blow for Celtic, who still haven’t adequately replaced Jeremie Frimpong. Arguably, given Frimpong’s brief stint at the club, the Bhoys haven’t replaced Mikael Lustig in a meaningful way, as of yet. Hatem Abd Elhamed was also brought in to fill the right-back slot, but now Frimpong and Elhamed are plying their trade elsewhere.

Jonjoe Kenny arrived in the winter from Everton. The Liverpudlian seemed an astute loan signing, but it hasn’t really gone to plan for the ex-Schalke loanee. Kenny’s distribution and tackling have been questioned, and he has provided unnecessary pressure for our goalkeepers more than once.

Milan van Ewijk, meanwhile, has a potentially big future. Seemingly keen to stay in Holland, van Ewijk had previously stated [Voetbal Zone]:

“The Netherlands is a familiar environment for me. That is why I would prefer to learn here instead of abroad, where I don’t know anyone at all.

“I want to grow gradually as a player and as a person. I do sometimes hear there are clubs (interested in me) but I leave that to my father and my agent – I prefer to stay in the Netherlands now.”

ADO Den Haag youngster Milan van Ewijk / (Photo by Gerrit van Keulen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Not exactly blockbuster, but Milan van Ewijk looks like a promising talent

At the very least, it’s good to see Celtic are reportedly scouting across Europe. Given the successes in our recent past in plucking European players from obscurity, it’s obviously a tactic that works well.

Losing out on Milan van Ewijk isn’t a body blow by any means. Granted, he does look a tidy player, one who has had a breakout season while his teammates have struggled. However, it seemed from the off that a move abroad wasn’t necessarily on the cards for the young right-back.

That’s understandable, most everyone likes their home comforts. It’s also perhaps a blessing in disguise; someone who made the comments van Ewijk made might have real issues adapting to life in Scotland. A player so young only has so many chances to make a big impression, and the sink-or-swim atmosphere at Celtic might not have benefitted him, or us, at all.

What’s clear, though, is that we need to be aggressive in the transfer market. If we’re being linked, substantially, to promising players on the continent, then it’s a sign the wheels are in motion.

That’s something, at the very least.

READ MORE: Academy graduates may hold key in Celtic’s transfer plans