There are always two sides to every story as the former on loan Celtic striker John Guidetti has just proved. The player arrived on loan last summer from Manchester City where he had no chance of playing first team football in the final year of his contract with the then English champions.
Celtic gave the player a platform to rebuild his career and an opportunity to recapture his form that resulted in getting a move to the mega rich Manchester club in the first place. The player was desperate to leave City and very keen on playing for Celtic.
After a free scoring start to his Celtic career, where his goals tally was enhanced by scoring from dead ball situations, Guidetti was the darling of some in a Celtic support who crave a new goalscoring hero in the mould of the legendary Henrik Larsson. Soon however the goals dried up for the Swedish striker and Guidetti found himself on the bench as Leigh Griffiths emerged as the first pick striker at the club.
Celtic offered the player a contract before Christmas but no agreement was reached and in the new year Celtic manager Ronny Deila declared that he’d parked discussions until April. We carried a very interesting feature in March in which Ronny Deila outlined what Guidetti should do and how Deila could help him achieve what he wants to in the game. Delia’s wise words obviously fell on deaf ears as reports emerged every other day of the latest prestigious club apparently chasing Guidetti’s prized signature.
No firm offers – other than the one Celtic made in December – have actually been confirmed.
Guidetti didn’t feature over the last few games of the season and he seemed a somewhat detached figure walking across the Parkhead pitch after the Trophy day 5-0 victory over Inverness. He did leave Celtic with two medals, he scored at Hampden Park and in his career highlight at Celtic he came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Inter Milan in the Europa League.
Now Guidetti has claimed that Ronny Deila told him he would not be selected in the starting eleven because the player informed the club that he would not be signing the contract on offer. Really? Nothing to do with your scoring drought then John?
Celtic’s form at the start of 2015 picked up considerably – with Guidetti out of the team and Leigh Griffiths banging in the goals.
Speaking on a documentary on TV4, Guidetti said: “I would have been starting, but the day before the game he said I would sit on the bench because I was not going to stay at the club. He said he would focus on the players who wanted to be there. I understood that.”
Despite how well Guidetti did when he came on a substitute it was never enough to force his way into Deila’s starting eleven. Celtic apparently were worried that Guidetti value would rise. The relevance to Celtic in this is somewhat lost on us. As a free agent he can sign for whichever club wants him and how much the pay the player for his services makes no difference to Celtic. Nevertheless Guidetti holds this view, saying:
“He (Deila) told me that he could not play me. I would add to my goals and build my value.
“Then he would stand by his players who had not played. I understand that, but it was hard not to play football.”
Guidetti scored 15 goals for Celtic and won a Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup medal.
We wish him well with his career.