Kwon or mid-career journeymen


You would be forgiven if you didn’t know much about Kwon Hyeok-Kyu.  He joined Celtic in the summer from his hometown club in the Korean second tier but, before Saturday, the last football he played was July.

Since then, the 22-year-old relocated to Scotland, with all the social, cultural, culinary and sporting challenges that involved.  St Mirren have him on loan until the end of the season and on his debut on Saturday, he was awarded Man of the Match (by the BBC, not a sponsor, keen to boost a new arrival).  That’s remarkable for a player out for so long.

Defensive mid is the role Callum McGregor plays, and Callum is the most available player on the planet, so swap-out options are rare.  Tomoki Iwata awaits his chance there, while Matt O’Riley really impressed when asked to fill-in.  It is no surprise we have yet to see Kwon.

He is an absolute unit: 6’ 3”, mahogany solid and fast.  His impressive debut for St Mirren surprised no one at Lennoxtown, including his manager, who has hopes for the player.

He is a find; prepare for a reassessment ahead, along the lines of Bernardo, with Holm and Nawrocki to come.  A loan move to St Mirren is a great next step.  He will hopefully play until May as he becomes adjusted to life in Scotland.  Celtic will watch all his games and he will return in the summer ready to press for a place in the team.

What happens to Kwon and the others is critical to how Celtic develop as a club.  Make a success of signing players with talent and growth potential, or pick up expensive mid-career journeymen (like Newco).  Best of luck to Kwon on Saturday.

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  1. We are a club open to all.



    My office in KY on the other hand, is not! We have guests from UK and one is a brown brogue wearing currant.



    Happy Wednesday eve!

  2. Paul’s thesis on Kwon is a very different tone than the “2nd tier project, waste of time “ comments from some of our more glass half empty types we share the site with.



    Hopefully Paul’s sources are more representative and good luck to Kwon.

  3. Afternoon all. Loans can go one way or the other, Callum and Liam benefitted greatly, let’s hope for the same with young Kwan.

  4. The Battered Bunnet on

    “Make a success of signing players with talent and growth potential, or pick up expensive mid-career journeymen”



    I don’t subscribe to this binary, Paul. We should be signing performers regardless of age. I mind we once bought a journeyman from Feyenoord, scored some goals, did well for us and for himself. Lined up with a couple of other journeymen, Sartson and Hutton or something.



    Emdy mind Jock Stein’s masterstroke in signing Pat Stanton?



    Then there’s that Japanese journeyman who’s our current first choice centre forward. Not to mention our keeper.



    We need white light recruitment, a full spectrum. It’s not all black or white.

  5. The Battered Bunnet on

    There are the known Kwons – the Kwons we are aware of.



    And the known Unkwons – the many non-Kwons we know about.



    Then there are the unknown Kwons, those Kwons of whom we are presently unaware, but whom others may already know about. It is these unknown Kwons that preoccupy our talent recruitment endeavours.



    “I don’t subscribe to this binary, Paul. We should be signing performers regardless of age.”



    I agree with this 100%.


    We do though – see Joe Hart, Kyogo and even Mooy.



    “I mind we once bought a journeyman from Feyenoord, scored some goals, did well for us and for himself. Lined up with a couple of other journeymen, Sartson and Hutton or something.”



    Not sure I agree with this though – an EPL winner and a guy with 4 good years at Feyenoord and a 3rd place WC on the CV are “journeymen”? Not sure I understand the meaning entirely as it means different things to different people to be fair though.



    I think if we could buy such players today we would, but equivalent players to Sutton won’t be in our price range even after a bad year following his move to Chelsea where his playing style did not suit.




  7. bournesouprecipe on

    We’re on the Kwon road – maybe the wrong road?.



    It’s been more than ten years since we last heard “ every penny Celtic receive would be reinvested in the club ”. What’s the hold up? nowadays already infamous for lack of sound, and an invisible profile, Celtic directorship gets quieter than a church mouse. Banal questions fielded annually, the bonus game goes round and round, as does the musical chairs.



    Could the club be in Limbo state since BR return, a first class manager or just a caretaker keep things ticking over, coach the players, pay the bills. Were told we can’t compete with major league teams who spend fortunes on players, we can’t compete when they’ve apparently stopped spending either.



    Maybe they knew those words might come back to haunt them, and they whistle down the wind, during the transfer window, bad time to ask for investment when you don’t know how to invest. Back in the days of barely breaking even, fairy nuff, but now the glorious balance sheet might be bolstering new dynasties, but it teeters on the brink of a fan base, a few dropped points away from a boo or a hiss or worse still out of the CL.



    We don’t see jam tomorrow anymore, there’s nothing on the horizon just our eternal gratitude to Brother Walfrid. There’s your dinner. Could there be a plan in how to reinvest our £90M of real money, in our club, or is the PLC just another rabbit caught in the headlights.

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing Kwon on Saturday. Two games into his loan move is too early to give a definitive opinion on his chances but it’ll be interesting to watch him in a hostile but less pressured environment against a better standard of opposition who will test him.



    Kwon can’t have had any idea about the argument about cash piles and spending money on inexperienced projects but, like everyone we signed in the Summer he’s become part of it. Unlike Palma who was written off as substandard after 25 minutes football Kwon wasn’t even seen in a competitive game before he got caught in the crossfire



    Writing off the summer signings makes the likely failure of the development part (and it is just a part) of our football model more of a self-fulfilling prophecy.



    Bernardo is now one of those very valuable players, a hungry talented young man with his career in front of him and a first team berth. Our midfield on Saturday was 3 players under 23. It’s the future of the club, for any dynamic club, and our only option for success over a number of years




    That was quite a read back – glad I’m not dyslexic.



    I always wondered why they made dyslexic so hard to spell – for instance, if they called the condition kwon, that would have made more sense….



    To your follow up post – your definition of journeyman differs from my own. HH

  10. I’m not sure why the myth that we only sign development players seems to have become a truth. Not signing mid career journeymen doesn’t mean we can’t sign players with more experience with a view to them being first teamers and not with a view to a quick sale



    In the last 3 windows (so far) we’ve signed 7 players who aren’t development players who fit neither profile:

















    All signed to go straight into the first team but apparently lost in the argument about not spending enough on experienced “quality”



    We had one development player in the team that beat the Huns, despite being without CCV and Hatate.




    Mooy was mocked by a lot of our support when he first came, CQN was pretty harsh in its judgement for a while.



    It also wasn’t that long ago

  12. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    The loan to St Mirren is a terrific move. A win for all parties and we will finally get to see him perform in a decent team. There will be opportunity for him next season when we sell O’Reilly and Hatate. Turnbull will be gone too. Next season’s midfield likely to be centred around CalMac, Bernardí, Holm and Kwon.

  13. The Battered Bunnet on

    Re journeyman



    In days gone by it signified a time-served tradesman, but in the current football era it denotes a player who has been around a while but isn’t highly rated, midtable fodder perhaps.



    Larsson was 26 years old and was heading back to Sweden after four underwhelming years in Holland. The sense was that his early promise hadn’t flowered. Feyenoord were delighted with the £650,000 we gave them, there was no queue at the door for Henrik.



    Sutton was (remarkably) a laughing stock at Chelsea. One goal in 28 games led folk to think that his performances at Blackburn were the product of playing alongside the great Alan Shearer. In any event, being relegated with Blackburn and then bombing at Chelsea, at 27 years old his career had stalled.



    John Hartson’s career had gone from the young prodigy at Arsenal aged 19 to a pay-per-play deal with Coventry City by age 25. He was considered an injury prone player with dodgy knees, moves to Spurs and (then) Rangers falling through on failed medicals.



    All 3 were midcareer, talented but somewhat soiled. I’d say many folk considered them to be journeymen in the trade. Thankfully Wim Jansen and Martin O’Neill were better judges.



    I don’t think any of that is controversial, whether you subscribe to the definition or not.

  14. Every penny that Celtic generates goes into the club. Every penny does not go into playing staff, how could it?



    The club has to be run and there are many facets that need to be financed.



    The much-mentioned £70m in the bank was merely a snapshot of the bank account on a given day, probably a couple of weeks later that figure would be substantially different. We all look good on the day of the month that the salary drops in; it is then eaten away as the month progresses and essentials are paid.



    We are constantly testing and probing the market, a market that is light years away from most in the top six European Leagues, and of course this involves an element of risk. Some work out, give us a great return on the park and are sold on for tens of millions; others of course don’t make it and have to be moved on in the best way possible. That’s the way it is and will probably always be, unless we break into another more lucrative set-up.



    We finished out of Europe after our latest UCL adventure, but then so did Manchester United and Newcastle who have spent multi-millions on their squad.



    Let’s be realistic, ten of the clubs within our Scottish Premier would be hard-pushed to survive in League Two in England, indeed most recruit from the lower and non-league in England, or sometimes EPL & Championship Youth squads. How then are we supposed to ‘hone our skills’ to compete in Europe against such low-level opposition week in, and, week out? Derek Adams at Ross County has said a few things about the standard up here. He is a brave and honest man who, through fresh eyes, sees Scottish football for what it is.



    Realism is not defeatism. That is why Celtic survive to be strong and successful. High levels of success domestically and regular entry into EUFA competition is realistic, spending all you’ve got and slipping into debt is the road to ruin.

  15. DARWIN on 23RD JANUARY 2024 1:10 PM



    I found that a well-balanced post.


    Too often, I feel, posters are too selective in their `facts` and that , for me, diminishes their main point.



    There are the known Kwons – the Kwons we are aware of.



    And the known Unkwons – the many non-Kwons we know about…




    😂😂Even funnier if you use your phone’s read aloud function.

  17. Swiss Ramble has an article on Preston North End’s accounts today.



    There’s an interesting point about the financial difficulties that clubs in the championship face – their pre tax loss of £14.4m is “mid table.” The championship clubs have stopped making profits from player trading, which they used to use to make up for operating losses



    EPL clubs have stopped buying from the championship – they now either buy established experienced players from the big leagues for a lot of money (driving up their price) or under 25s with development potential from any league. After 25 we won’t sell to the EPL, or to the other EPL feeder leagues looking to do the same (like Frimpong).



    The players we sign to flip will be with a view to selling them before their 25th birthday, with time enough for development to happen before them



    It’s simplistic, and there will be players who develop faster and get sold quicker and the occasional sale over 25 but not enough for enough profit to make it a part of a strategy.

  18. DARWIN on 23RD JANUARY 2024 1:10 PM


    “Every penny that Celtic generates goes into the club. Every penny does not go into playing staff, how could it?”



    Well said.



    I think the lack of comms on the plans for the funds (since the hotel was mooted and then died), or the lack of seeing progress on any plans for it are causing the perception to be negative though.



    I even hear/read suggestions that it will go to the suits as bonuses but once banked (and taxed!) in a year I don’t think it has any impact on the KPIs/bonuses into the following years.




  19. I’d actually love a couple of seasoned hard pros to supplement the squad ……its exactly what the squad needs !!!

  20. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    As usual we get the obligatory comparison with “newco” for some reason. Definitely not Rangers though. Definitely NOT Rangers……

  21. Paul67


    Just before Kwon signed for us, a video of him playing for his then club was doing the rounds. In it, it showed him winning around 30 tackles in the midfield area. It was impressive, BUT, I noted that every one of those tackles were with his right foot. Even when it looked easier to tackle with his left, he would twist to enable his preferred right foot. It may have been selective editing but it did look as though he’s VERY right footed




    Sutty wasn’t a journeyman. He’d had three clubs before he came to Celtic at 27 and won the golden boot and the Prem at Blackburn.



    Re journeyman



    Larsson was 26 years old and was heading back to Sweden after four underwhelming years in Holland. The sense was that his early promise hadn’t flowered. Feyenoord were delighted with the £650,000 we gave them, there was no queue at the door for Henrik.






    Henrik was certainly not on the way back to Sweden.



    In 1997, Larsson told manager Arie Haan that he wished to leave the club.[18] A legal dispute then ensued over a clause in his contract that Larsson claimed would allow him to be sold on if a fee of £600,000 was offered.[21] Larsson won his case and in July 1997, he signed for Scottish side Celtic.





    From Davie Hay’s autobiography.



    Wim trusted my judgement completely and I appreciated that. He would listen to your views on a player and would give you the thumbs up or down whether or not we should proceed. He listened to advice and always kept an open mind. Naturally enough, he wasn’t quite up to speed with some of the Scottish players around at the time, but he had an extensive knowledge of the continent. And, with his Feyenoord background, he knew all about a bloke called Henrik Larsson.



    ‘I want him, Davie,’ he said. ‘He will do well for this club. I know it.’ He had made Henrik one of his essential targets that summer and, armed with that knowledge, I flew to Holland to meet the player’s agent. I had done business with Rob Jansen before and I liked him. He dealt in quality players and Henrik Larsson certainly came into that category.



    ‘When I met up with Rob in his office, Henrik, his wife Magdalena and baby son Jordan were there, too. The fee had been set at a mere £650,000. It was more of a steal than a deal. There was a clause in the player’s contract that would allow him to move on if Feyenoord received such an offer.






    In transfer related news the boy the Huns appear to be signing looks far better than any player we’ve been linked with this window. Say what you like about them but with limited funds they back their manager and are pushing the boat out to try and win the title. Time will tell but power and pace? Pretty sure I’ve heard those words before. Add in some quick feet and dribbling ability and I’d be excited if we were bringing him in with a view to replacing O’Reilly when he leaves in the summer.





    If Kyogo gets injured the league is over but sure scramble about for loans in the last few days of the window. If those deals fall through then I guess we tried….

  24. Watching West Ham at the weekend and for me Wst Ham’s best player was Danny Ings. The epitome of a premier league journeyman even at 31 we wouldn’t get near his wage these days.



    The mind boggles at how much we’d need to pay someone who’d won the golden boot two seasons ago

  25. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    Long time since a poser:


    What was significant about the Celtic line-up v St. Johnstone Jan. 1967?




    Something to do with the Lisbon Lions? All played that day?



    !!BADA BING!! on 22ND JANUARY 2024 3:45 PM



    If we want Beck,go and sign him,a couple of months doesn’t make a great deal of difference on a 4- 5 year contract.






    I don’t think we can Bada. I believe the rule states that a player cannot play for 3 different clubs or be registered with 3 different clubs during one season.





    Yippee ! Pure ( but educated !) guess !!

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