Celtic can follow up Postecoglou with bold new strategy

By Euan Davidson

June 12, 2021

As Celtic fans, the arrival of Ange Postecoglou has made us rethink our perspective on world football.

That’s not too dramatic say, is it? Most of us in Scotland, and Europe more broadly, would’ve had reservations about Postecoglou. After all, we think of Europe as the ultimate proving ground in terms of football. If you’ve made it here, you can make it anywhere, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, but the opposite isn’t true for so many of us.

I include myself in that. Until we were able to learn more about Postecoglou, I’ll admit I winced a bit at the speculation. But now, I’m a convert. While few of us in the Celtic support are big fans of this current administration, it’s a very bold move to have made.

It’s “outside the box” thinking, if you’re into that terminology. Now, if anything, we ought to go all-in, and our transfer strategy should reflect the kind of thinking that brought Postecoglou into Celtic Park.

Of course, hack reporters like myself are going to name J-League talents, and do our best to scout out some potential Celtic players from unfamiliar locales. Especially while Brexit rules don’t interfere with our transfer strategy – there couldn’t be a better time to test the waters in markets like Japan, the J-League and South America.

Celtic can set a precedent with Postecoglou signing

While there’s plenty of talent in Europe, diving into other markets hasn’t really been Celtic’s thing. Of course, there have been some shockers, with Koki Mizuno and Rafael Scheidt being key examples. However, Scouting and analysis are far, far better than they used to be. Clubs are more informed about potential targets than they ever were.

Of course, there aren’t guarantees. The Manny Perez and Andrew Gutman experiments were ill-advised. But we’re talking about proven, top-tier talent, players that’d be ready for the first team.

Emilio Izaguirre came from Honduras / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

With that in mind, if Celtic can opt for a manager best known in Australia and Japan, then surely there’s room for players to follow. Any kind of snobbery about the standard of other divisions seems redundant, when there’s value to be had worldwide.

Yes, it may take some time to adjust, but it’s not like it’s anything we haven’t done before. Emilio Izaguirre was signed from Honduras, Tom Rogic from Australia. Mohammed Salim came from India in the 30s. We’ve welcomed players from Canada, Jamaica, the US, South Korea, China and more [Celtic Wiki].

Let’s not let any reticence and Euro-centrism put us off being ambitious in the transfer market. This is a global game, and we might not even have heard of the next Celtic superstar.

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