Ange Postecoglou's stellar Celtic recruitment was given the perfect spotlight this week

By Dave Flanigan

September 1, 2022

Of the many possible takeaways from Celtic’s 4-1 Premier Sports victory in Dingwall over Ross County last night, few are as apparent as the volume and quality of Celtic’s recruitment in the last two transfer windows.

Ange Postecoglou had the luxury of making nine changes to the side which hammered Dundee United 9-0 at the weekend, but his side showed no lack of cohesion or flair, as they breezed past the highland side, safe for a short spell when the deficit was reduced to a single goal by Alex Iacovitti’s consolation.

With both full-backs and goalkeeper making their first starts of the season, and an untried centre half partnership in Stephen Welsh and Moritz Jenz, it’s testament to the level of control that Postecoglou’s side are able to exert on games that they were rarely tested throughout the ninety minutes.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Though Dingwall has been a happy hunting ground for Postecoglou, Celtic have won on all four visits to Victoria Park under the Aussie, the comfort with which his side went about their business last night was in stark contrast to his victory there in December of last year.

That 2-1 win, now famous for Anthony Ralston’s 97th minute goal and the ensuing bedlam that followed it, was one of the many highlights of last season, but it was achieved under considerable duress, with the side in the midst of an injury crisis and playing with ten men after Carl Starfelt’s red card.

Though that result was absolutely critical, and a massive moment in the club’s first season under Postecoglou, it was also a damning indictment of the club’s recruitment up to that point. On the night Celtic lined up without a striker, and two full backs in Josip Juranovic and Adam Montgomery on the wings, with only a half-fit Tom Rogic and teenage Owen Moffat the only viable attacking options from the bench.

Celtic have contrived to do their business early in the two transfer windows since. A triple announcement on Hogmanay brought Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, with Matt O’Riley joining them before the January window was out. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota’s stay were made permanent, with Alexandro Bernabei and Benjamin Siegrist also added before the start of pre-season.

This is a far cry from last season, where only Liel Abada was signed and available to face Midtjylland in Celtic’s opening match of the campaign, with a tattered squad limping out of the Champions League qualifiers at the first hurdle, and losing three straight away games in the league to start the campaign.

This season, Celtic have been in glittering form from the off, with basically a full squad to choose from, reaping the rewards of two transfer windows pushing up the floor of a talented, if often thin pool of players at Postecoglou’s disposal.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Sead Haksabanovic will have to bide his time for minutes and fitness, but if his cameo in Dingwall last night is anything to go by, Celtic have signed a player who able to push the ceiling of the squad too, and fight for a place in Postecoglou’s starting eleven.

With possible further recruitment to come ahead of tonight’s transfer deadline and big games looming on the horizon, there can be few clubs in the European game with as much to look forward to in the coming months as Celtic

In other news: Report: Mikey Johnston on flight to Portugal after choosing loan destination