Celtic star Josip Juranovic on Postecoglou's style and helping out McGregor
Josip Juranovic, a Celtic summer signing with international pedigree, was a coup for the Bhoys.
With right-back issues aplenty, despite the resurgent form of Anthony Ralston, the £2.6m signing from Legia Warsaw was a source of excitement for fans upon his arrival.
However, he’s made more appearances at left-back than on his favoured right. He was coming onto a game for the Bhoys before an injury set-back kept him away for three weeks.
Against St Johnstone, though, he was arguably Celtic’s best player in a comfortable 2-0 win. Juranovic seems perfectly happy on either flank, especially in a system where full-backs see plenty of the ball.
Juranovic had a ridiculous 121 touches of the ball against the Saints [Fotmob], and that’s a key part of why he’s buying into Postecoglou’s tactical set-up. Not only that, he’s been entrusted as Celtic’s penalty kick taker, a role he dutifully carried out on Saturday.
Said Juranovic [Celtic FC]:
“It’s very different.
“But I’m happy because the ball is always between the legs. I’m always in the middle and how can I say? It’s the perfect style for me.”
Celtic man Josip Juranovic loving tactics and responsibility under Postecoglou
It’s not just tactics and having the ball, though. Juranovic has also stepped up as a leader, a bridge between Callum McGregor and Joe Hart.
The experienced Croatian international could be seen giving instructions to his teammates in defence on Saturday, and has no problem stepping up to take spot kicks, either.
On leadership, Juranovic said of his responsibilities [Celtic FC]:
“I don’t want to be like, “leader” leader. But I also want to be support[ive] to our captain. [And] to Joe Hart.
“On the pitch, you cannot hear everybody. If you have, like, in [each] line, that’s the most important.”
Tactically flexible, talented and happy to take on a bigger dressing-room role, Juranovic’s signing makes more and more sense with each display. Let alone the fact that we signed an international full-back for just £2.6m in the modern market [Daily Record].
A stand-out in his Premiership outings, Juranovic can turn on the style in a run of fixtures that could have a huge impact on the rest of our season. Whether that’s on the right or the left.
We’re still to see the best of his distribution, something that marked him out at Legia Warsaw, where he won a Polish league title with Artur Boruc. But in time that’ll surely give Celtic another attacking weapon.
But it’s very much a case of so far, so good for the 26-year-old. Impressive on the pitch and off it, so it seems.