Former Ange assistant talks up new Celtic signings after early transfer flurry

By Euan Davidson

January 3, 2022

Former assistant to Ange Postecoglou, Peter Cklamovski, has heralded three new Celtic signings after a flurry of early Hoops transfer activity.

On Hogmanay, Celtic announced that Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi would join the club. It was long-rumoured, and it came to fruition before the transfer window began in earnest.

Now, Cklamovski, one of Postecoglou’s right-hand men in both Australia and Japan, has given his take on the trio of Celtic signings. And his knowledge is meaningful, having worked up close against three players who Ange has brought to enhance his first-team squad.

Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images

Cklamovski told The Times: “[Hatate] very quickly become an integral player in a championship-winning team. Kawasaki are dynamite, it’s a dynasty they’ve built. So even to force his way into that squad is an achievement.

“I couldn’t put my finger on which is his No 1 position. I just think he’s dynamic in all of them. He’s an attack-minded player who has progressed his game defensively, and is going to impress a lot in Scotland. He seems a bit of a diamond, where he can plug a hole in any position in any moment for the manager. 

“Ideguchi will be that consistent engine for them when called upon.He’s an engine defensively who covers so much ground, breaks things down, is strong in duels and keeps momentum for his team. He’s also effective with the ball and can generate tempo and open things up.

“[Maeda is going to be] brilliant in Ange’s system. Kyogo and Maeda are interchangeable. They can play centre forward or that wider, winger-type position, both of them no problem at all.”

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New Celtic signings earn Cklamovski approval; Ange’s former assistant is impressed

Naturally, a former assistant to Ange Postecoglou is going to be impressed by what the Celtic manager is doing, and who he’s signing. Hatate, Ideguchi and Maeda would be signings Cklamovski would endorse were he still Ange’s assistant.

Now, though, he’s manager of Montedio Yamagata in the J2 League, forging his own path after a difficult spell at Shimizu S-Pulse. He’s one of a number of ex-Ange assistants making a mark after an education from the Celtic boss.

Ange’s protegés include Kevin Muscat, who’s now Yokohama F Marinos boss. For him to have lost Maeda to his former mentor might’ve stung a bit. But the universal opinion appears to be that Celtic have made some excellent moves here.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

We needed squad depth. That’s not even subjective; with injuries piling up, and Ange having been able to put his imprint on the Hoops, more Ange-approved players had to come through the door. It’s exciting, then, that Postecoglou has three new guys he knows all about to call upon.

We certainly needed options in midfield. With Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham gone, more creators in the middle of the park were an absolute necessity. Hearing Hatate can be just that is a relief. A hard-working midfield engine like Ideguchi taking some pressure off Callum McGregor is too, a boost.

Exciting times for Celtic, then. That’s if Peter Cklamovski is right – and it’s doubtful he isn’t.

Read more: Kris Commons makes bold transfer prediction; compares Celtic to two European heavyweights