My knowledge of Chinese football since 1979 is limited, and I don’t watch a lot of Brighton or Huddersfield, so I’ll need to bow to Ange Postecoglou’s judgement when it comes to Australian international midfielder, Aaron Mooy.
Mooy was a mainstay in the Huddersfield team that won promotion to the English Premier League, stayed there, then were relegated after two years. His form won a move to then-EPL side Brighton, where he stayed for two years before the lure of the yuan.
20 games in 18 months in China ended at the turn of the year. Since then, Mooy has played only internationals, including three games for Australia last month. The reported one-year deal, with a one year option, for a free transfer, is low risk for the club.
Celtic have cover in the wide positions but central mid is an area where the headcount is down, after the departures of Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic. Rogic is easier to compensate for in the existing squad, it’s the No. 6 position, where Ange is limited to Callum McGregor and largely untested Yosuke Ideguchi.
Some of us will have a Pavlovian reaction, Mooy is two months older and has the same positional profile as James McCarthy, who signed a year ago but looked short of fitness all season. There is certainly reason for caution.
Celtic faced a genuine battle for the league last season, and I expect nothing less in the season ahead. Getting the mix right in central mid is one of my biggest concerns. This feels like a pivotal decision.