What a great start to the weekend, seeing photos of Argentinian left back Alexandro Bernabei (21) in Glasgow. The player has made 60 starts in Argentine football. He made an additional 20 in the Copa Sudamericana (equivalent of the Europa League), a tournament where his current club Lanus appear to give youth their chance.
That’s 80 games in total, 16 more than Virgil van Dijk played before arriving here at the same age. You and I have long discussed the Magic Window, when a player has produced enough evidence for Celtic to have heard of him, do a proper scouting job and make their move, but before he piques the interest of more monied suitors.
If Alexandro is indeed a player, 80 games in Europe would almost certainly be too many for Celtic to be a potential destination. The South American Magic Window may be slightly wider.
If you are a scout, how many performances would you want to see before you put your name to a multi-million-pound purchase and contract? Albian Ajeti scored in five of his first six league games for Celtic, surely enough for you to endorse him as a nailed-on target at any level?
The risks involved in transfer work is significant. Results vary widely, even from the very best practitioners. This is doubly so when no one at the acquiring club has worked with the player before, more so if they have never worked in the country/continent.
What happens at the club after a transfer is also important; players need an environment that permits them to grow and succeed, so I don’t think outcomes are entirely random. Alexandro succeeding in Glasgow will have a lot to do with how well his induction into life in Scotland goes.
I double checked that bizarre Ajeti stat, it’s true.