I was asked to contribute a piece on John Guidetti to a German magazine last month. John was on his way to winning the European U21 Championships with Sweden, while being every inch the football personality. The German publisher wanted to know why Celtic, Stoke and Manchester City had decided against re-employing a striker with a flattering pedigree.
During last season it looked like John was destined for the English lower leagues, or perhaps one of the resting homes in Turkey, but a few weeks at a tournament later he’s won himself a five year deal with Celta de Vigo.
Guidetti is a better player than he looked at Celtic last season. We don’t play a system which lends itself to a classic, British style, penalty box striker, which is what John is, but would you give him a five year contract to play in La Liga? Of course not. You’ve watched the player way more than Celta’s scouts and you know better than they do.
This is the truism in scouting, people who watch a player week-in, week-out, know vastly more than a scout who only gets to see a month’s games, or a handful of games across the season, or worse, a selection of DVDs provided by the agent, or TV highlights.
What’s made John Guidetti is his outlier season, 2011-12, when on loan at Feyenoord he smacked home an astonishing 20 goals in 23 games. Without that season, the Celta scouts wouldn’t even know his name. Maybe the serious illness he subsequently suffered robbed him of his mojo, maybe he’s a pound or two heavier than his fighting weight, but my money’s on Vigo suffering buyers regret soon enough.
The best of luck to John in Galicia, but I suspect he’ll be available for loan this time next year.