The January transfer window closed in an underwhelming manner last night. Celtic concluded a straight four-month loan deal for Adam Idah (22) from Norwich City. I started the week bemoaning how physically light we were, so the addition of a 6’ 3” traditional target man is welcome. It is somewhat regretful that this is not a strategic acquisition; there is no option to buy and if the player is a success, Norwich will use this to prime his resale value.
We seem to have talked ourselves out of a left back. From what I hear, that’s not as much of a stress as it sounds, as latterly we were shopping distinctly off-piste in the ‘clearly for backup purposes’ lane.
The only permanent and strategic signature was that of Nicolas Kuhn (24), from Rapid Vienna. Nicolas arrived in the middle of the month and has already made his debut. He is every inch the data driven dream: creates chances, is useful in possession and after an injured season, has been fit since the summer. They are out there, if we are prepared to commit to the system.
A few eyebrows were raised at the reported £2m Cardiff City paid for the signature of David Turnbull, a player who has been on the fringes of the Celtic first team since his arrival from Motherwell four years ago. We paid £3m to Motherwell for David amid high hopes he would become a mainstay of the midfield for years to come. He is a player with great technique and was the best finisher at Celtic Park. With only six months left on his contract I expected a fee of around £400k, so happy with £2m.
Our winger population was thinned out a bit yesterday. Mikey Johnston (24) went to West Brom on loan and Marco Tilio (22) returned to his former club, Melbourne City, both are set to return to Celtic in the summer.
Not one of you wants to hear this, but playing on the wings is a really tough gig, especially at Celtic. Mikey has talent, he reminds me of one of those five-a-side players you can never get the ball off. Decision making and a good final ball is never an issue at fives, Mikey needs to improve on both if he is to reach his potential.
The window shut with Brendan Rodgers words reverberating, “Obviously, statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it.”. So we’re off-piste now.