Relationships are important. If you get them right, the chances are that good things will happen for you increase. If you get them wrong, even just once, then maybe that relationship is lost for a long time or even forever. Given the comments from Luke Dowling, nope, me neither, apparently the sporting and technical director of West Bromwich Albion, an English Championship club, it would seem unlikely that Celtic will be getting any players from them any time soon, and certainly not Oliver Burke. Such a shame, and regardless of how good a player you are and what you think of the new managerial appointment, if he doesn’t fancy you, then game time is going to be limited. Just relationships, everyone has their favourites. Should Celtic be worried that Luke was Nick Hammond’s replacement?
In a lot of jobs, you build up a network of contacts, it makes complete sense. Your job becomes easier, it doesn’t really matter which type of work you do, trust is developed between both parties. If you can’t be trusted to deliver though, then it’s going to be tough for you, it doesn’t matter how much you get paid. Remember the time that Lee Naylor absolutely owned Cristiano Ronaldo at Celtic Park? Sure, everyone can have a bad game but you pay the money for the players that you think will deliver more often than not and Ronaldo undoubtedly has. Shouldn’t that be key to your thinking when you bring in someone new?
Player recruitment is key, perhaps this summer more than ever, and Celtic are well known for developing such contacts, fostering many relationships with a number of different clubs and agents and on a recurring basis. Dudu Dahan anyone?
Despite the lack of game time and impact so far, Eboue Kouassi came from Krasnodar and the relationship between both clubs is believed to still be very good. Whether or not Arsenal plan to spunk half of their reported transfer budget on Tierney, it would make sense to bring someone in who can also play right back. Cristian Ramírez at our number 88’s old club, is a 24 year old left back who can also play on the right, could be making his way to Glasgow for £4 million or so, if you believe certain media outlets. It makes more sense than trying to match the rumoured £8m bid that Bren*** Rod**** has made for James Justin, a League One right back. Silly season in England as per.
Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic, Xavi, Dani Parejo, Samuel Umtiti, Ander Herrera, Shinji Kagawa, no one would dispute that they’re all fantastic players. Hold that thought.
Sergi Palencia, a 23 year old right back currently plying his trade at FC Girondins Bordeaux, to give them their passport name, is available for free in four days time, and it turns out he can play on the left side of defence also. He’s on loan from Barcelona B and we seem to get on okay with them too, don’t we? What do all nine players have in common? They belong to the same talent agency and Celtic know them well.
Marian Shved, the club’s new number 20. You don’t get to share an agency with those calibre of players if you don’t have something about you. Given the flippant comments of the previous manager about the player, and the slaughtering of Lee Congerton who followed him south, you could be forgiven about having your doubts, but might Celtic just have found an absolute gem?
YouTube can lull you into a false sense of security in terms of how good a player might be. Let’s face it, an agent, a player’s representative, or even a fan is unlikely to post footage of a player who looks like absolute horseshit.
The right winger doesn’t turn 22 until next month and has been capped at U18, U19, U21 and for the national side of the Ukraine, a country sitting 21 spots above Scotland in the FIFA rankings. He’s spent some time abroad before with Sevilla’s B side in the Spanish third tier and looks to have an eye for goal and it can’t hurt to have someone on board with a cracking penalty record. For someone predominantly used as a right winger, 15 goals and 4 assists last season for Karpaty Lviv from just 26 starts is pretty good going. Karpaty weren’t afraid to put him up front too or play him behind a lone striker in a 4-4-1-1 type formation, something that might be handy for the European campaign which as we all know is just around the corner. Lviv have a couple of nicknames as a club, The Green and Whites and The Lions. Is it written in the stars?
‘It’s clear he has a lot of talent. There is still work to be done, but he has progressed hugely. There’s no doubt he has improved a lot and he will go on to be a big player for Ukraine.’ You’d trust the opinion of Andriy Shevchenko, one of only three Ukrainians to win the Ballon d’Or, wouldn’t you?
Competition for a starting spot will undoubtedly be fierce. Award winning James Forrest would appear to be the main man on the right wing. Chuck in homegrown Mikey Johnston, who might benefit from a loan spell and regular game time, Karamoko Dembele who the gaffer has said will be part of the first team squad, Scott Sinclair, Lewis Morgan when he comes back, Jonny Hayes, without forgetting that we’ve not even seen a lot yet of Daniel Arzani, means that he’ll have his work cut out to nail down a place in the starting XI. You’d have to assume that if a contract is dangled in front of you by a new club though, you’d do your homework about the players that are already there who share the positions that you might play in. Clearly the boy fancies it and who’s to say that he won’t tear it up next season? With rumours about players being sold and going out on loan, maybe his chances of starting regularly increase?
A lot has been said on social media about the apparent lack of transfer activity and that’s okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s easy to forget that Perez, Gutman, the aforementioned Arzani and Shved haven’t played yet. Will there be more to come? You’d have to hope so, but just maybe the new number 20 will make the biggest impact.
Welcome to Paradise.