SEAD HAKSABANOVIC is “only going to get better”, according to his former Swedish coach Jan Jonsson.
The lively 23-year-old raider was a late addition to the Ange Postecoglou Celtic Revolution when he joined in a £1.7million switch from Russian outfit Rubin Kazan just six days before the end of the August transfer deadline, as CQN reported.
Haksabanovic had spent the summer training on his own in his Swedish homeland, but hit the ground running at Parkhead when he was brought on as a surprise substitute in the opening Champions League encounter against Real Madrid at Parkhead just 12 days after sealing his move to the Hoops.
GEM OF A PLAYER…Sead Haksabanovic in action against Everton in the Sydney Super Cup last month.
The attacker claimed his first goals for Postecoglou’s side when he fired in a double in the 4-2 win over Dundee United in the east end of Glasgow on on November.
He signed off the first half of the campaign before the World Cup break by stroking in a sublime low drive for the points-clincher against Ross County.
One man not surprised by the progress of Haksabanovic is Jonsson who was his manager at Halmstads who gave him his big breakthrough opportunity as a raw winger he termed his “little diamond”.
The Swedish coach admitted: “It is right if you say that he is not at his best yet. Actually, coming up as a 15 year old, then the following year, he played all of the games.
“So, that means he is quite mature in terms of his game for his age in things like training situations, in his focus and working harder. He has matured quite early having been involved in the senior teams since he was so young, but the best years are still ahead of him.
“It was clear for me Sead was going to go to a high level.
FANFARE…Sead Haksabanovic celebrates netting his first Celtic goal in the 4-2 win over Dundee United at Parkhead last month.
“Both the technique and the balance, he had those things from very early.
“I took him into the team at 15 years old and that made him the second-youngest to play in the Swedish league ever and I had to be a little bit clever with him and the club because I could see, even if not at first, that a giant club would come for him at some stage.
“When I say clever, I mean businesswise for the club. I didn’t play him only just to sell him, but at Halmstads, if you have a little diamond as a smaller club in Sweden, it is obvious you are going to try and get out as much as possible.
“At the same time, I worked closely with Sead and his dad and his family because I was trying to protect his interests as well. I think it has worked out well so far.
“There have been some movements for him. He ended up in West Ham and maybe it didn’t kick off for him straight away there. Then there was the special situation in Russia and now Celtic.”
Jonsson, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We are both have our roots in the same home town in Halmstads, so, from time to time, we are meeting each other.
“Sead is an excellent little player and that is obvious. There is something natural about Sead with his touch and physique. That body balance and view on the game.
“It’s very good and I think he is only going to get better.”