Kyogo and Jota needed no convincing to join Celtic says Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

October 22, 2021

Kyogo Furuhashi and Jota didn’t need any convincing from Ange Postecoglou to join Celtic, the manager has said.

Reflecting on the summer transfer window and future plans, Postecoglou spoke about the importance of mentality. For Ange, that’s as big a reason to sign a player as their ability on the pitch.

The trick, then, is when you find players that tick both boxes.

Kyogo and Jota have been unqualified successes of Celtic’s recent transfer business. Between them, they’ve scored 12 goals and made 5 assists, and have delighted supporters with their performances.

Even better, they’re players who had true desire to contribute at Celtic. So says the manager, who explained the rationale behind his transfer strategy.

Postecoglou said [Celtic FC, 08.01]:

“For me, [mentality] is a hugely important part of bringing players here. I was confident with say, somebody like Kyogo, because I knew him really well from Japanese football.

“I knew his background, I asked enough people about him as a personality to know that he would cope well here. It wasn’t like he was 21, he was 26, even though he hadn’t a lot of exposure to senior football.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“When you’re talking about bringing in people in January, where again, they’re going to have to hit the ground running, they are the things that we’ll be looking into. Not just their playing abilities, but their personality.

“A big part of it will be the ones who really want to come here. When players show intent, people like Jota and Kyogo, there was never any discussion of me trying to convince them to come to Celtic.

“This was their preferred destination. So that was a big part of it.”

Celtic still an attractive prospect for star players like Kyogo and Jota

It couldn’t just be me who wondered how influential Ange Postecoglou was as a negotiator.

Maybe he is. You could imagine him delivering a rousing speech to potential signings, convincing them of the history and potential of Celtic. That might’ve happened on occasion, but it seems little arm-twisting was needed for arguably our two best signings.

Joe Hart, meanwhile, has totally bought into Postecoglou’s vision of football, is earning the rewards. He may not get the back pages like Kyogo or Jota, but he’s been just as fundamental.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Given last season, it seemed fitting to temper our expectations about the kind of players Celtic could attract in the close season. Turns out we can attract absolute ballers like Kyogo and Jota, but also Liel Abada, Josip Juranovic and more.

It’s difficult enough overhauling a squad. But finding the kind of players who fit Celtic in terms of both ability and mentality?

Refusing to compromise on players who needed any convincing to join the club?

It’s bold, and so far you’d argue it’s paid off.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou comments on brief Dom McKay era at Celtic