The summer saga involving Celtic, Peterborough United and Ivan Toney is, at this point, well-documented.
At one point we looked like the team ready to rescue him from English League One after an impressive season.
After multiple bids from the Bhoys, The Glasgow Times even reported we were his preferred option for a transfer after his new club Brentford missed out on promotion to the Premier League.
Ultimately, Celtic couldn’t, or wouldn’t, match Peterborough’s valuation.
With each passing week, that looks to have been something of a mistake.
His goal against Queens Park Rangers last night was his 12th of the season, from just 14 appearances in the English second-tier.
He’s averaging a Championship goal every 99 minutes (Transfermarkt).
One English football journalist, Charlie Wyett, now reckons he’d cost any future interested parties as much as £30m.
Ivan Toney gets his 12th goal for Brentford after scoring 49 in 94 apps for Peterboro. It’s staggering there was not a club in the PL or even Watford, Norwich or Bournemouth willing to pay £6.5m. He’ll now cost £30m
— Charlie Wyett (@CharlieWyett) November 27, 2020
The John McGinn precedent
It’s no guarantee that Toney would have ignited Celtic’s season of course. We have Odsonne Edouard for goodness sake, and we’re still not managing to look very good.
Still, there is precedent here when it comes to recruitment and missing out on a talent that goes on to impress in England and greatly increase his valuation.
Nobody will forget John McGinn heading from Hibs to Aston Villa, despite the player being within our grasp during the summer window of 2018.
He helped them to a promotion, impressed in the Premier League and is now likely only available to the super-rich clubs south of the border.
Celtic have earned a lot of credit for the transfer model in recent years but, as we hoover up ineffective striking talents such as Patryk Klimala, Vakoun Bayo and others, the true successor to Edouard still eludes us.
Toney looks like the one that got away.
Judging transfer success or failure is obviously far easier with hindsight, but perhaps more commitment is needed from the money men at Celtic to truly propel us to the next level of buy low, sell high.