Scouting sweet spot with young players


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?

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  1. prestonpans bhoys on

    So the weekend hun covid stories are rolling down the websites. We missed a trick there with the Boli Boli case. Should have jumped in said we are conducting our own investigation and say nothing.



    The difference between the two cases is glaring😯😕😵

  2. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Why not give Ewan Henderson a run of games this season to cater for his development and assess if he is capable of playing a part next season?



    He is 20 years too and one of the clubs own graduates.

  3. Pingback: Scouting sweet spot with young players | Celtic FC News Now

  4. Bhoy From The Boyne on




    Good to see you posting.



    Would like to hear your latest take on Sevco Rangers finances.



    I think you mentioned late last year you had an article penned.

  5. Paul 67,



    Potentially a very good acquisition, signed from under the noses of the English big guns.


    Forward thinking, as our managerial situation should be.



    However, does it not yet again undermine the position of Lennoxtown and again pose the question :- Does Lennoxtown provide value for money ?




  6. My point is because a player is 6’3″, doesn’t mean he will make a good centre half.


    Ajer is 6’5″ and can’t head jump or head the ball

  7. Has there been any comment from the SFA on The Rangers covid cases?


    Jones and Edmonson banned for 7 matches (I think). So it’s not like they don’t have a precedent.

  8. What a depressing article Paul, even if true. If we sign players after ten games we could sign ten before getting one right. If we do get it right how long will he stay IF he is developed. By whom springs to mind.



    We need to sign players like this but its hard to be optimistic about the signing of a 19 year old unless he’s been exceptional.

  9. Secrecy is inbuilt into the huns ( new and old ) DNA.



    However in the midsts of a global pandemic , there is no room for such indulgence.



    Is it any wonder they think they are better than all the rest. The Scottish establishment and their poodles encourage and endorse it.




  10. Rangers statement on Jordan and Edmonson bans…


    Rangers say the length of the ban shows “the seriousness with which Covid protocol breaches will be dealt with”.


    “Football is in a privileged position and we recognise the responsibility that we all must uphold within the national sport,” the club’s statement added.


    “The outcome of today’s hearing brings the standard and expectations set by the Scottish FA into sharp focus.”

  11. FT @ 9.43



    Interesting link.



    Probably tells us more about AC’s lack of vision and confidence than anything else.


    I fear he has always spent too much time on the tactical and not the strategic.



    Cyberspace works for the right wing because it gives people a sense of presence without the need for physical assets — you can be who you want to be through your FB profile at little cost to yourself.



    Dubai / Physical = Poundland Aristocrats.


    FB / virtual = Interweb Aristocrats.



    Lots of people think they have something when in fact they are losing resources.


    The problem with the WRM analysis is that at some point the elastic is going to snap.


    The masses are going to realise that in a time of plenty for some they are hungry.



    And then hopefully things will change.



    Look at the rise of the trusts in 1890 / 1900 — huge wealth that was broken up by democratic politics.



    WRM and his spawn are scary people but their ideas are hugely flawed and beatable.


    Just a case that too many will take too many wrong turns before they realise.

  12. Finally they may have predicted a lot of stuff but they forgot about CV pandemics.


    Huge fail by these supposed masters of the universe.


    Progressive politics will benefit from CoViD19 — we are no longer individual islands — we are a community / a society.



    AR talked the same tripe in her books.


    And look how she ended up — taking the welfare she so despised.

  13. Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear



    I got Bassey, but no idea on the others

  14. ST @ 12.21



    You are right — 6′ 3″ does not make you a CB.



    But it helps.



    Happy to give the guy a chance.


    Just a case that I hope the coaching staff will give him a chance as well.

  15. GP @ 12.20



    Lennoxtown / St Ninians — WAG hatchery not football nursery.


    Needs gutted from top to bottom.



    Any ideas on the cost of the youth set up — Up to the U20’s?

  16. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on




    That’s some result!!


    And Aberdeen haven’t scored in 463 mins either!!

  17. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    I reserve all judgement until I see the lad in the flesh.



    We also need our best academy players seeing a realistic route to the first team.



    Lenny has virtually nothing on his plate till the end of the season and hasn’t had since the middle of December.



    That’s precisely the problem.

  18. The Star above The Crest on

    Hopefully the new Bhoy is a success.



    It makes me question what’s going on at Lennoxtown that we don’t have our own young players that can be given 1st team games.



    Or want to leave Celtic.

  19. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    If Welsh is fit for tonight, he goes straight back in the team with Ajer for me.

  20. Let’s hope Shaw turns out to be a good signing. The Wednesday fans were unhappy to lose him but then the Bolton fans rated Luca Connell and I’m not sure if he’s anywhere near the first team.



    A couple of points though. While £350,000 might not sound a lot, with decent scouting and recruitment (I know, I know) I don’t see why we can’t find players for that price who can come straight in and do a job. Sevco seem to have managed it quite well in the last 12 months or so.



    Secondly, who is signing the players and why if there’s to be a change in the dug-out next season?

  21. I spoke with a Sevcoite who was tendering for some business on the day the story of the Ibrox players party broke. He gave me the names of Bassey and Patterson before they ever appeared in the papers and he said there were “other youth players” you won’t know who were involved. He seemed to have been unaware of Zungu but obviously most of this story was all over Sevco cyberspace very quickly.



    Bassey, Zungu and Patterson have all played for the first team at Ibrox. The view so far is that Zungu has not settled in and has not impressed as much as they hoped for but Bassey was seen as an adequate young sub for one of their star players, Barisic, and Patterson was their most highly rated youth player. Dao Mabue is on loan to QOTS and is seen as a prospect too. Kinnear appears to be ayouth goalie.



    While all of these are potentially sacrificeable, Patteson will probably hurt them the most as they were hoping to sell TavPen for money and have this prospect take over.

  22. Paul67 et al



    Well, for one we do not know how much we will receive for Jeremie Frimpong, since his transfer was not part of the poor half yearly results to December 2020, figures which themselves only appeared less than disastrous when compared to their 2019 equivalent and not to a period when we qualified for the Champions League Group stage. Was luckily enough to see wee Frimpers’ debut, and many times after that, and know enough to realise he was not only the best young player in Scotland but, at his best, the most exciting footballer into the bargain. Let us be honest he was an early part of a car boot sale, one of many to come, designed to make up a shortfall in revenue which is largely the result of Neil Lennon’s failure to negotiate knock out matches against clubs with far less resources available to them.


    How much did we get offered for Lenny? There’s your answer.

  23. What did Brighton fans know about Shane that we didn’t ? Slow ? No experience in playing for a team that’s wide open to a counter attack ?



    I’m delighted we’ve signed a player with good potential. What I’m concerned about is who’s going to coach, the hoped for improvement ?



    Lenny certainly does have a lot on his plate . Team manager ( why he’s still there is a mystery to most) , club spokesman and the public face of the club.


    The board shirk any responsibility in that department.


    Keeping the faith is extremely difficult.


    Our direction of travel is still static , following the serious train crash.


    When does the rescue begin ?


    Scunnered CSC

  24. Under Neil Lennon some good young players never got the chance of first team football,If it wasn’t for fan power Turnbull and Soro would still be sitting on the bench ,If we get a new coach in and all these players are out on loan ,i bet a few of them will be knocking on the managers door for first team football,but under the present regime whom I reckon don’t have a clue how to coach and care for them ,if I was a up and coming good football player and Celtic asked me to sign for them ,my answer to it would be thanks but no thanks.

  25. MADMITCH on 17TH FEBRUARY 2021 12:32 PM



    WRM and his like are indeed scary folk and they probably can’t believe that they managed to pull off Brexit. Progressive politics in other parts of the world may ‘benefit’ (not sure if that’s the right word to use) from the pandemic but there is nothing to suggest that will be the case here. In fact the opposite, the right are consolidating their power. Even today they are talking about voter id cards which will hit the poor and minorities hardest.

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