Posted on Thursday, 10th January 2013 by admin
As Peter Lawwell was announcing the new sponsorship deal with Magners, he also revealed that young Australian midfielder Tom Rogic was going to join up with the Celtic squad at a training camp in Spain for a ‘trial’.
While I can’t pretend to know much about Rogic, the fact that he is an attacking midfielder is promising- it’s a position in which Celtic have lacked for a while – the fact he is only 20, plays in the Australian league and is over for a ‘trial’ shows that not too much pressure should be put on him yet. However, he does fit into Celtic’s policy of buying/developing young players and then selling them on for a large profit.
The first player that Celtic applied this policy to was Aiden McGeady, who was brought up through the youth ranks, then became a very important – and at times very good player in Gordon Strachan’s Celtic side. However, when the club decided to sell McGeady it proved to be a very good idea – as even though we did lose an important player we did get £9.5 million from Spartak Moscow from him and it enabled Celtic to sign players such as Hooper, Kayal and Izaguirre. McGeady is really the only player brought through the Celtic ranks in recent years who has been sold for big wages – when Shaun Maloney signed for Villa it was for around £1 million – as the club has concentrated on signing players for relatively cheap from Europe/Asia and then selling them, the most recent example being Ki.
Ki was a polarising figure for many, as he was capable of controlling a game from midfield, but for others – such as this very blog’s Block 102 – he was a waste of time. However, it seemed that his chances of dislodging the likes of Kayal, Ledley, Brown and Commons from midfield were limited, so Celtic accepted a bid from Swansea for around £6 million pound, a handy profit of around £4 million for a player who wasn’t a first choice player.
The ‘moneyball’ style plan will no doubt reach it’s next stage when Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper inevitably depart. Wanyama – who was signed for less than a million pound – has proved to be a revelation in the season and a half he has been at Celtic. He has dominated in the SPL but far more importantly in Europe,especially in this season’s Champions League in which he turned in superb performances against Spartak Moscow and Barcelona. His performances have unsurprisingly gained the attention of some big clubs, such as Arsenal, Man United and various others. As he is seemingly stalling on a new contract, it would make sense to sell him in the summer for up to £15 million. That would be an incredible bit of business by Celtic and even though it would be a blow to lose Wanyama, Celtic couldn’t turn that offer down.
The situation with Hooper is similar, signed from Scunthorpe for £2.4 million, he has prove to be a big success and has thus far scored 53 goals in 80 games. The contract situation for Hooper is also similar to Wanyama, but as Hooper’s deal runs out in 18 months I think it’s inevitable that he will be sold in the summer. The likes of Norwich have been linked and I would imaging it would talk around £8 million for Celtic to accept. Even though it will be disappointing when he leaves, Celtic will make a handy profit which will be reinvested in the squad.
It is unfortunate that this Celtic team will start to be broken up in the summer, but that is the way of modern football, and Celtic still have many good youngsters such as Forrest, Matthews and Watt who will give us years of good service and then sold on for a large profit. If this practice continues Celtic’s future will be very bright – both on and off the park.