Former Celtic scout's worrying claim about youngsters' development at Lennoxtown
Former Celtic scout Mike Trusson has worryingly stated that the club hasn’t had a proper planning structure in place for young talent.
Trusson used to be Celtic’s European scout. He’s also the ex-Sheffield Wednesday assistant boss too, meaning he knows plenty about Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide.
Celtic recruited the duo last week, but it’s unclear whether they’ll go straight into first-team contention. Given both players’ lack of experience, it could be that they’re viewed as long-term projects. A term Celtic fans have gotten sick of hearing over the years.
The problem is that so many of these long-term projects just don’t work out. And Trusson believes this is down to a lack of knowledge on how to develop younger players appropriately.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Trusson said: “Fair play to Celtic and the recruitment department I know well. They identified the pair (Shaw and Urhoghide) and did their homework, talking not only to me but Pulis and others. Now it will be interesting to see what the policy is. Having worked there, the worry I have is that Celtic have signed good young players and there wasn’t a real plan how to progress them.
“If they’re not going to play in the first team then where do they play and gain playing experience? By training with the first team? Not really. As a club you want to help a player fulfil his potential for the benefit of both him and you. Even if they’re not right for Celtic they can still be an asset. I know this has been discussed at Celtic but, as yet, there’s no plan.
“With Klimala, there wasn’t a plan on how to handle that. Having been part of his signing, that concerned me to a fair degree. Klimala got put in the squad but hardly ever played. Soro was another case before he came in and played well.”
Not surprising to see Celtic struggle to bring youngsters through
When it comes to bigging up signing young talent, Celtic are brilliant at it. They know what buttons to push to get the Hoops support excited. The lastest signings of Shaw and Urhoghide are proof of that.
However, we’ve seen this story before. We’ve seen the story of Celtic signing promising young talent between the ages of 18 and 21, only for them to never get given an opportunity.
What Trusson says about Klimala in particular is massively concerning. That we could invest around £3.5m in a striker and have no idea what steps to take to develop him? Here’s hoping these faults came at a managerial level and not an issue that will affect Postecoglou.
But Celtic have clearlly never managed to find a way to bridge the gap between youth and first-team. Yes there are some fine examples of those that buck the trend. Kieran Tirnery. Callum McGregor. Mikey Johnston. Some are able to come in and be a capable performer. But plenty of talent slips through Celtic’s grasp because they come stagnant.
After all, what’s the development path for Luca Connell? What about Lee O’Connor? Is Ewan Henderson any closer to regular first-team action than he was two years ago? All questions Celtic won’t answer because we have a massive issue with our youth prospects.
Fingers crossed Ange Postecoglou can sort this out. The last thing we want to be asking in 18 months time is “what happened to Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide?”. It’s down to the new manager to give them their opportunity.