Neil Lennon has confirmed that the club expects Soro to sign in the next couple of days.
That brings this transfer to a happy conclusion, with Celtic taking their January spending to more than £5 million. This is a good signing, for an area of the pitch which has needed reinforcements for many a long year. It is as welcome as it is overdue.
For an age now, Scott Brown has been the only player in our first team squad who is a natural in this role.
That has caused us difficulties whenever we’ve wanted to play with two holding midfielders; it has been to the detriment of Callum McGregor, in particular, who has been constantly played in this role. For much of the season it was effective, as it liberated Ryan Christie and has produced his best football for the club.
But Callum needed a break and it has never been his natural position although Ronny, Brendan and now Neil have all played him there.
It is a tribute to Callum, in many ways, that these guys have all put him in that slot.
His versatility is amazing, and he’s never let us down, not even when Lennon bizarrely played him at left back against Cluj, depriving us of his talents in midfield whilst not giving us the proper balance on the left which we needed. Yet even that night, Callum played through.
Still, this couldn’t go on. As Brown gets older it becomes clear that we need a long-term replacement for him. Eboue was the guy we placed our hopes in before, but that was a risky venture. He was coming from Russia, on the back of only a handful of games. I do not know what possessed us to think that was a chance worth taking, but I think we all hoped that it would pay off … it never did, and there were only a handful of games where it looked like it would.
Our scouting has left a lot to be desired over the years, but this new team has been busy all summer long and through the season so far. Hammond’s signings have been very decent thus far, and that’s amazing when you consider that he had to tear up his predecessor’s target list within days of arriving at the club.
We’ve seen the last of Congerton’s nonsense.
Soro ticks the boxes, at least in terms of what the reports on him say.
He is aggressive and quick and tough in the tackle. Play him and Brown in the same team and you free McGregor to play through the middle as our playmaker and attacker and you can put Christie wide left where he started his career, or play him wide right and give Forrest some competition.
It gives us the opportunity to rest players. It gives us tactical flexibility. It gives us another midfield battler for the wars when we play Sevco. It reboots our midfield, which is already far and away the best in the country. But it might do more than that.
This might be the answer to the Scott Brown conundrum.
This guy might be the natural replacement for the captain we’ve been sweating over so long. He is young enough that he can grow into the role. He is here on a four-year deal, but one would expect him to sign a revised contract once he’s played for a while. He could be here a while.
This is a good signing. It might well be the most important we make in this window. Those who worry they haven’t heard of him and who think we should have gone for a bigger name are missing the point. We’ve brought this guy in for the long haul, aside from making us stronger in the here and now.