After frustrating start Celtic are playing some summer transfer market blinders

By Euan Davidson

August 18, 2021

Remember when pre-season started, and we were almost unanimously in agreement that Celtic had to spend massively in the summer transfer market?

While, yes, you could’ve formed a brand new XI from free agents, we knew money had to be spent by new boss Ange Postecoglou. There was no way around it. Freshness was needed for a squad that truly laboured in 20-21.

However, rather than spending for spending’s sake, Celtic have actually played some blinders this time. While the big shiny price tags in the Premier League are too rich for our blood, we’ve found value in proven players from across the world, as well as promising young talents.

Look at Kyogo Furuhashi. A Japan international, signed for a reported £5m. He’s already wowed the supporters, and looks as if he could get even better. Joe Hart, a former England goalkeeper, who needed first-team football: £1m. James McCarthy: free. Carl Starfelt, another international player; £4m. Liel Abada, even less.

Price is everything. Value, in a market where Jack Grealish is worth £100m, should be hard to find, right?

Wrong. And it could get even better. The top scorer from Eredivisie for a reported £2.5m [Daily Record]. A Croatian international right-back for about the same fee.

“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

“Ange has Celtic playing the Dutch way” | AZ Alkmaar fan Anthony

Yes, combined our spend looks like Chelsea in 2004 compared to the rest of the league. But the shrewdness and selectivity of Ange Postecoglou and his board should be celebrated on this occasion.

Celtic are finding fantastic value in the summer transfer market

Whether there’s a particular model or there isn’t, a few things can be observed from Celtic’s transfer market so far. One, they’re finding value in less fashionable leagues. The reaction of the Scottish media to Ange Postecoglou’s hiring says plenty about how (wrongly) the J-League is perceived, but we landed a coup in Kyogo Furuhashi.

The Russian top-flight, Holland’s second division, the Israeli league; these aren’t necessarily the most en vogue locales for finding talent. There’s risk attached, of course; Celtic scoured Ukraine for Marian Shved, and Sweden for Amido Balde in the past.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

But when it works, oh it works. And with someone as deliberate in their manner as Ange Postecoglou, you know these incoming players will have been scouted and analysed to the finest detail.

We needed patience, and it’s being rewarded. That’s in the playing style of Ange Postecoglou getting results. It’s in numbers creeping up at Celtic Park. Moreover, it’s in the signings Celtic make.

Yes, it’s been – by modern standards – a comparatively slow process. However, it’s about getting it right in the budgetary constraints Celtic have. So far, we surely can’t complain.

Read more: Ange on playing football the Glasgow Celtic way