RAMON VEGA spent five months on loan at Celtic from Spurs, scored two goals on his debut and picked up three medals in Martin O’Neill’s debut clean sweep season of 2000/01.

Just over a year later, the Swiss international centre-back’s career was in freefall.

Reports at the time claimed Vega, who had arrived on a short-term deal in December and made an immediate impact with a double strike in a 6-0 win over Aberdeen, had priced himself out of a full-time contract at Parkhead.

O’Neill wasted no time in looking for a rock in his rearguard and switched his attention to French outfit Toulouse to snap up man-mountain Bobo Balde.

RAMON RARING TO GO…on-loan centre-half Vega races onto the Celtic Park pitch behind Neil Lennon for his debut against Aberdeen on December 16 2000. Ninety minutes later, the new Bhoy had netted two goals in a 6-0 win.

Italian World Cup hero Gianluca Vialli, in charge of Championship side Watford, persuaded the defender to switch from White Hart Lane to Vicarage Road – and a year later the player was freed before retiring at the age of 33 in 2004.

Vega has warned Cameron Carter-Vickers, on loan from the London club, not to make the same mistake.

The Parkhead hierarchy are in negotiations with Spurs to transform the 24-year-old US international’s temporary transfer into a permanent contract, as CQN reported earlier today, and the one-time Hoops treble medal winner said: “I hope he has the opportunity that I didn’t have.

“The chance was not there for me to stay because I certainly would have done.

“Celtic wouldn’t have even had to have paid £6million for me. I was free and I didn’t get the chance which I would have loved.

“If I was him and the opportunity is there for this move to become a permanent thing, it’s not even a question mark because you will improve an enormous amount.

“You would be taking a massive step up in your career to be working within a massive club.

“Every time any player would ask me about going to Celtic, I’d say don’t even think about it.

“Get on a bike and cycle there because you are going to play very good football and represent a huge club.”

IN CONTROL…on-loan Celtic centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers displays his composure.

Vega, who won 23 caps for his country, continued: “It is always the case when going from another club into a new life and a new opportunity, it gives an enormous boost.

“It’s a new environment and, if it starts clicking with the team doing well and performing, it helps to bring out the best in you.

”Sometimes, even though you are having a bad time or not getting a chance it doesn’t mean you are a bad player. Maybe it just is not happening for you and the new environment can be invigorating.

“What happened to me going to Celtic, the dressing room from day one helped a lot. Scoring a couple of goals on my debut also helped.

“Going to a new club and entering a positive environment, it brings the best out of anyone and it seems it is happening with Carter-Vickers.

DEBUT DELIGHT…Ramon Vega wheels away after scoring his first goal for Celtic following his loan arrival from Spurs.

DEBUT DELIGHT…Cameron Carter-Vickers is congratulated by Adam Montgomery after netting in his first appearance in the 3-0 win over Ross County in September.

“He has been very good and I don’t think anyone can have watched Celtic this season and not be impressed with him.

“You could see he improved and impressed straight away almost as soon as he joined Celtic.

“It gives immediate confidence when you go in and start well. It integrates you immediately and you do not have to keep proving yourself.

“You immediately show to people that you have value to the team and it’s a great move for him.”

Looking at the overall picture at what is being achieved under the guidance of Ange Postecoglou, Vega, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I’ve been very impressed. I think Ange has done a brilliant job and put some real stability into the team as well as a winning formula.

“You have to start things from a position of solidity. It’s great the team is attacking and scoring goals, but you have to make sure the opposition can’t get at you.

“No team can be successful without a solid base. You have to build a castle first and then defend it.

“Getting the League Cup won inside the opening few months of his management is a great thing for Ange and the players.”


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