Celtic shopping in narrow gap before profiles rise


Oliver Burke made all the headlines two years ago with a big money move from Nottingham Forrest to Leipzip but progress since has not gone to plan.  He has played 46 minutes of league football for West Brom in the Championship this season, so has lots to do to recover his early promise at Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers has James Forrest in the form of his life this season, while Scott Sinclair is back in the team and scoring goals, but Forrest clearly tired before the winter break and, apart from Sinclair, options on the left are limited.  Burke will fill the role hoped for Daniel Arzani, before his injury at Dundee.

Of more strategic interest is the potential signing of striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo, who plays for Slovakian club, Dunajska Streda.  The Ivorian, who will be 22-years-old later this week, has played 32 games since leaving Africa, where he managed just nine starts in Tunisia.  This is where Celtic now have to operate, in that narrow gap between when a player shows enough form to interest, but before his profile attracts the attention of others.

This has worked well for us before (van Dijk) but will inevitably have a high variance of success.

Although 18-year-old Timothy Weah has appeared in only six senior games, he will be more of a known quantity than Bayo.  Celtic have experience of the French youth teams, in particular, Weah’s club PSG, from where they acquired Odsonne Edouard.  Still, Weah and Bayo will both need plenty of support to settle.

If both deals go through we will have four strikers for the run in, a vast improvement on hoping Edouard can give us 20 minutes for key away games at Pittodrie and Ibrox.

This is all a bit early in the window for Celtic to be this busy.  Unsettlingly so.

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  1. FAN-A-TIC



    I remember the exchange and you might remember my reply that there was a cosy trinagle of transfers going on between RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg and a lower tier (2nd???) Austrian club, I think Ingolstadt, from memory. And, surprise, surprise, it turns out that this lower league club was also owned by Red Bull. On TransferMarkt, these were described as transfers, rather than loanees returning, which is a slightly more common practice , which Chelsea use with a Belgian feeder , I believe.



    That’s what I meant by privileged.



    I accept, from their recent sporting performances, that there is no overt agreement to produce sporting results that favour the group but that is not the only way in which corrupt practice can flourish. If there is an arms length seperation of these clubs activities, you would not expect that so many transfers would occur from Ingolstadt to Salzburg and from Salzburg to Leipzig (eg Kampfl). Of course, Mane’s fee reached a level which was too rich for Leipzig, so they have got freedom to trade outwith the group.



    Like Scottish refereeing, I am afraid there “corruption” as I allege, is at a deniable level.



    Off to work now- catch replies later

  2. Delaneys Dunky on

    TET has stated that Celtic are like a Jewish team playing ’30s Germany.


    Joseph Goebbels is living on in spirit in Scotland today, with many liars creating the illusion of truth. Who controls the SMSM narrative? Jabba Goebbels?






    I’m all for their strike, then sack all grade 1 & 2 refs




    I can imagine them having a demonstration outside Hamdump.



    “What do we want? More Cheating.


    When do we want it? Every game involving Celtic and our favourite team, The Rangers”

  4. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    only cheats would support a ref strike since we all know their motivation for striking is to ensure their cheating is not questioned. It is in essence match fixing by any other name.



    Oh and apologies to Bada Bing for the spell check correction.

  5. traditionalist88 on

    MADMITCH on 7TH JANUARY 2019 6:06 PM


    T88 @ 1.35



    I struggle to understand any part of your argument regarding youth players.



    We cannot produce youth players that are good enough for the bottom half of the current SPL.



    We are losing players to no-one.



    We are bumping good players at a young age and watching them develop elsewhere.



    Regarding the stream of young players we have become involved with a French youth pedigree — while we may struggle to get the superstars we can at least aim lower for the ones with great talent and similar potential.



    We have two benchmarks to work the numbers regarding value:



    ON: £4.5mill to buy — how much as an 17 / 18 year old?



    OE: £9.0mill to buy — how much to buy …



    Expensive place to shop — MC / PSG youth teams.



    If the French / West Africa angle is now too heavily scouted then why aren’t we more active in the Ireland / Iceland / Nordic angle — we have been involved before but currently we seem to be totally dormant in areas where have history or a current player connection.



    Overall our youth set up is fat and happy — a shambles waiting to happen.






    Losing players is one thing but getting them to sign is a separate issue with so many clubs across Europe sniffing around the same players.



    Your argument makes no sense, on one hand you say we can’t produce players good enough for bottom half of the SPL then you say we’re bumping good players and watching them develop elsewhere??? Which is it?!



    Plus its all too easy to say we should have signed Ntcham and Edouard years ago. No one knows how they are going to develop. At youth ages Man City and PSG clearly fancied them, so I’d like to know the strategy for outgunning these clubs who give youngsters the big sell?



    Plus – Ireland, Iceland, Nordic – as heavily scouted as anywhere. Problem with convincing kids to move away from home. If they’ve anything about them they will have plenty options. There are 92 pro clubs in England with good-excellent scouting and a fair % with deeper pockets than us all looking for the same players.




  6. Can’t understand why a player like Michael Gardyne is still at Ross County, surely the likes of Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, should be looking at him, especially with some of the dross,that’s playing at the moment,I Think in Michaels case like a lot of players he is to nice,and his face doesn’t fit.

  7. The BBC coverage of Newport’s FA Cup success made reference to the “old” Newport club which went bust in the 80’s and how the weekend’s cup win was the best result in the short history of the new club.



    This is brought to you without further comment.




    Hope all’s good with you…



    Not just now, but look at Clubs in the smaller leagues with Clubs the size of Celtic, think Switzerland, Austria (been mentioned), Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium etc…



    Hail Hail

  9. T88 @ 9.10



    I think you are spending too much time looking for excuses.


    My base point is that our youth set up is not as good as it should be.


    It has offered some hope in the past and it has tried the school angle.



    However at the moment the output is poor.


    Recent graduates have had to go to the Champoinship to get a game.


    Consequently we are either poor at scouting or we are poor at development.



    I then put forward the example of the CB position.


    Here none of our youth players for a couple of years have made it.


    However we have brought back one — JH — who we had previously let go.



    Again this asks more questions of the youth set up.


    Now we have to add player selection to our list of woes — was 2 now 3.



    1) We start of with poor initial scouting.


    2) Then we have the issue of player appreciation / evaluation — we have them but we let them go during their youth careers and focus our efforts on others.


    3) We then develop and coach players through the full youth age range and then we let most of them go — this has been the case for a while.


    However the issue is that when we let youth team players go in the past they went to the SPL now they go in the majority to the Championship.



    To me that would seem to suggest that things are getting worse.


    We are either not developing players or we are not allowing players to develop.



    Hopefully the introduction of new blood into the youth coaching set up will help improve the situation.



    If that doesn’t bring about the complete change required then maybe it is time for a much more diverse approach to provide a number of “Pathways to Paradise”.

  10. TB2 @ 9.58



    Interesting case study.


    However if he is better value than some SPL players then someone will come in for him.



    However my main point would be to lose any excuse culture that may exist. Deliver on the park and change will come.



    Fair point about timing.


    The self publicists will get there first.


    However if you offer value you will be offered a bigger role.


    Football has the benefit of being a results based activity 40/50 times a year.

  11. traditionalist88 on

    MADMITCH on 8TH JANUARY 2019 10:25 AM



    Not excuses, reality.



    Too short on specifics and fag packet calculations about how much it’ll cost to get young French players at 20/21 vs getting them at 16/17.



    How do you get a 15/16 year old Edouard to leave France for Glasgow when a club like PSG are offering him all he needs to make it in the game, whilst remaining in his homeland? At that age for all he knows hes got as good a chance as anyone as making it.



    As I said, there are 92 pro clubs in England alone with scouting and resources and even at 17/18 its not crystal clear who is going to make the grade. Our own Oliver Burke was tipped as Scotlands answer to Gareth Bale only just over a year ago, in which time he has been sold by Leipzig and can’t get a game in Englands 2nd tier.



    Maybe we should just bring in 1000 young players from all over every year and by law of averages we me might have 10 world class players and 10 squad players on our books?



    Man Utd were famously told you don’t win anything with kids, well they did because their kids were good enough. But even with their resources their is no conveyor belt. They have not been able to replicate the success of their youth policy in the 90s.



    Yes it’d be great to produce a lot more homegrown players but the problem is a national one and Celtic have not been immune to the effects. Street football is not what it was and we have not been quick enough to provide the facilities at reasonable cost to kids to practice. And where there are facilities they’re too often locked up.



    National mindsets have to change for the good of the game in Scotland.




  12. T88 @ 10.39



    I appreciate your points regarding the challenges of competing against PSG for French youth talent but it is not the only game in town.



    In addition we do seem to scout in that market just a case we buy them at 20/21/22 when they have significant value against them.



    Consequently why not get involved at 18 rather than 20 or 22?



    As for the rest of your analysis — too many excuses.



    Locally we have not got genetically worse regarding our ability to play football — in fact with better nutrition things have gotten better — just a case that we have not been able to deal with the more complex modern world rather than the simple play or starve ethos of the 30’s or the 50’s.



    Poor engagement of local youth to football — nothing that better coaches and better facilities won’t fix. The push factors are diminishing so the pull factors need to be improved.

  13. Regarding all the stuff about the local refs and their engagement with Ludge MIB professional expectations.



    All it needs is a bit of data analysis.


    Ref A vs CFC — what happened in the games.


    What games did he get and what were the outcomes?



    A comparator data set would be their performances when dealing with other clubs — TFOD2.1 / Sheep / Hertz / Killie / AN Other for example.



    Excel analysis at best but it would make interesting reading.

  14. Possibly too good to be true …



    Seemingly after 12 games into the SPL season the TFOD2.1 had received the same amount of penalties as the rest of the league combined?



    Surely this is an urban myth?



    The data came from a small industrial hamlet in East Dumbartonshire so please treat with caution.

  15. Will Trapp ?



    Captain America and holding midfielder.



    Fact or fiction ?



    The end of Broonie ?

  16. Delaneys Dunky on

    If you are a young brilliant fitba player fae a Glasgow housing scheme and Celtic want to sign you pro youth, but you are living in poverty with a single parent, or unemployed parents? How do you get to Lennoxtown from for example Drumchapel, for training and games? Impossible. Only middle class kids wi parents wi money and cars can do it.


    We are losing some amazing talent. I see kids in Clydebank in poverty, but they have a baw to kick. We are losing a generation of fitba players.

  17. traditionalist88 on

    MADMITCH on 8TH JANUARY 2019 10:54 AM



    There are a very limited number of players who at age 18 are going to improve us and are also available. At that age if they can absolutely improve us then there is a fair chance they are going to make the grade at their current club, or their current club still believe they could do so. We often have to wait two years till they’re 20 to find out they haven’t made it and that they are available to buy, albeit with a relatively hefty price tag.



    Thats why its not as straightforward as getting involved at 18.



    At 18 Oliver Burke was a world beater and we’d love to have been involved but we couldn’t match the money on offer for him. Couple of years later here we are. At 21 West Brom are still not sure and have decided to hedge their bets by loaning him out despite him not getting a look in this season.



    Same with Ryan Gauld.



    Its a tough market. I think we have to acknowledge that.



    I think if the issues are dealt with at national level most talented kids will naturally gravitate to us, what with the best facilities, stable environment and experience in developing players.




  18. South Of Tunis on




    According to LA Gazzetta dello Sport ( Italy’s biggest selling /most read newspaper –



    ” He might be staying .. For now. In the case of a proposal which is acceptable to the player and the Club we’ll talk again “



    Wil Trap is 1.73 Metres



    Bit of a shortarse.




  20. T88 @ 11.14



    OK — I will try and add some detail to help you with your analysis.



    If we go global for 17 / 18 year olds it will be to improve our youth set up not put them straight into our first team squad — sorry for any confusion you may have had regarding my thoughts.



    We have the example of TW who at 18 is seemingly being brought in to the first team squad. You are correct this is the exception but it has been brought on by our paucity of local equivalents and and a player / forward shortage in our first team squad.



    To repeat — my point is that currently we are paying big money for 20/21/22 year olds.


    Surely a better balance would be to try and get some — repeat some — of them in at 18.


    Better mix and better financials but more effort and better youth coaching.



    I am for a full age group youth set up just a case that your last point does not hold water at the moment — we are losing out locally regarding youth talent. We have the best facilities, the highest profile players and the biggest stage but we are not domination youth football as we should.



    My thoughts are that we should have multiple streams.



    Local school based academy.


    Regional centres across the country.


    Couple of overseas bases.



    All these feeding into a U19 set up with the addition of projects and punts based on what we come across and specific issues with a particular age groups — example: limited talent at CB for the 2001’s then bring in someone from outside.



    U19’s / U20’s / U21’s — then three choices:


    First team squad / loan for the talented but immature / free transfer out.



    From the outside we seem to have tried this to some extent but recently the U20 / U21 age group seems to have been broken up prematurely to the extent that we do not seem to have a settled side.

  21. Delaneys Dunky on



    I was born in 65.


    Was that Pete Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer three piece.


    Beautiful sonics thanks.



  22. Delaneys Dunky on

    Ken Boothe Peace Town. Wow SoT


    One of my favourite ever songs. Magical thanks.



  23. traditionalist88 on

    MADMITCH on 8TH JANUARY 2019 11:52 AM



    The problem with going global for 17/18 year olds is that overachievers in that age bracket have a path laid out to the first team where they are.



    Added to this if they are at a club in one of the big 5 leagues they will be on huge money.



    So what you are looking at tier 2/3 players at that age group. You then start to question if they are really that much better than the youth we already have.



    Oliver Burke was judged to be in the top category at that age group and that was a mistake. If a player makes a similiar fall from tier 2 down you are left with a player who is probably not going to be able to handle the SPL.



    On the flip side other players in tier 2 at age 17/18 will make the jump up and become better players than predicted.



    But unless we have a crystal ball there is no way to be absolutely certain who those players will be.



    At age 21 West Brom are still hedging their bets on Oliver Burke.



    Going out and signing foreign 17/18 year old tier 2/3 players in bulk with limited analysis on their performances is not a sustainable strategy IMO. Lets not forget at that age you probably have to pay for them, and moving to Scotland to become 4th choice in their position is probably not in their life or career plans,




  24. T88 @ 12.13



    You are putting forward a scenario in my name that I have never promoted.


    You seem to be trying score point on topics and ideas that I never put forward.



    Happy to discuss the issue of our youth set up in detail.


    However please read and understand my points before you respond.

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