Celtic are continuing a positive trend in letting Ange Postecoglou bring in a marquee signing

By Euan Davidson

July 17, 2021

Yesterday heralded something of a new dawn; Celtic are taking advice from Ange Postecoglou on signings.

If this doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary, it’s worth bearing in mind the quite myopic transfer model of years gone by. Transfer by committee has been the way for Celtic for some time, with extremely mixed results.

For sure, Celtic do have and have had scouts who are capable of unearthing gems.

For example, Jeremie Frimpong joined us from Manchester City’s development team, then left for over £10m [BBC]. The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and more over the last decade show there’s plenty of success to be found from clever research and taking chances.

But sometimes, the best signings are from when a manager signs to a new club, and brings in players they wanted before they joined. Scott Sinclair was a Brendan Rodgers signing. Kristoffer Ajer was a Ronny Deila signing (albeit, they never got to work together). Henrik Larsson was a favourite of Wim Jansen’s, joining Celtic not long after the former Feyenoord man. Dr Jozef Venglos and Lubo Moravcik.

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Now, we have Kyogo Furuhashi, undoubtedly an Ange Postecoglou signing. The boss said [Celtic FC]:

“He is a player of real quality and clearly someone I know well.

“I think he will add something special to our squad and I am sure the way he plays will excite our supporters.”

It seems self-explanatory, but it isn’t: Ange Postecoglou has arrived at an odd time for Celtic recruitment

Given the quagmire that is recruitment at Celtic, it’s not self-evident that Postecoglou would be relied upon for transfer targets. Not necessarily.

For years, it’s been apparent that Celtic have generally signed players by committee. Former Recruitment, or Football Operations heads, like Lee Congerton and Nick Hammond, would’ve worked with scouts, Peter Lawwell and the manager.

The scouting team suggest targets, and a list of people sign off. Now, it’s not to say that’s a bad approach, but there’s more confidence in conviction. Ange Postecoglou has clearly gone to the board and said “here’s the man I want, go get him.”

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

How many times did that happen under Neil Lennon? I doubt we’ll ever really know for sure. Whatever the case, there’s surely hope that this indicates a level of trust in what Ange Postecoglou is building at Celtic. For sure, he’ll have given approval, and been involved with discussions pertaining to Osaze Urhoghide, Liel Abada and Bosun Lawal.

It’s more likely, though, that Postecoglou was offered a list of targets and signed off. Furuhashi is someone Postecoglou is acutely aware of from his time in Japan.

Not every signing has to be that way. However, history suggests that the big names, the marquee signings, are perhaps best left for the manager to decide upon.

READ MORE: 3 reasons to get excited about Furuhashi signing