When Celtic sign young players, we discuss how many games they have played, and by implication, how many times we could possibly have watched them. There was a sweet spot (think Virgil and Moussa) of around 60 appearances, where you and I suspected we would likely have watched the players around a dozen times. Had we waited longer for Virgil or Moussa it is likely both would have been out of reach, you snooze, you lose. That window of opportunity has been growing ever shorter.
Last night we signed a pre-contract with Sheffield Wednesdays’ Liam Shaw, who will be 20 next month and joins Celtic in the summer. Liam made his debut from the bench in July and has made 10 starts since his first in November. Scouting opportunities have been rare, but as we know, snooze/lose. At £300k this has to be the model going forward. More, please.
I discussed crowd sourcing knowledge with a friend this week. Brighton fans knew things about Shane Duffy that Celtic did not before we signed him. The same is true of Jeremie Frimpong, not one of us would pay anything near the money Leverkusen parted with for his deceptively flattering lack of service into the box. By that rule of thumb, Wednesday fans’ considerable upset at losing Liam Shaw is encouraging.
At 6’3” his profile is similar to Kristofer Ajer’s when he arrived in Glasgow from Start, both tall central midfielders with a potential to move to central defence. Some of us remember big Billy bequeathing us 19-year-old Brian McClair a few weeks before he resigned in 1983. Lenny has a lot on his plate before the end of the season.
Don’t get caught out with the early kick off tonight, 6pm against a team who have not scored in 463 minutes of Scottish Premiership ‘action’, so what can go wrong?