The news last night that we had completed the signing of Ismaila Soro comes as the team gets ready for its fourth game since the window opened. I don’t expect that he will play in the match, but his arrival here is a welcome one, and he should be a great asset to the team.
I have been mildly amused by the nonsense about him which is already circulating online.
I’ve read comparisons with Kante, a handful of demented idiots writing him off before seeing one minute of him as a footballer and hysterical over-reactions to the idea that he would like to sign for Liverpool one day. Well, the only way he does that is if he is a standout in a Celtic shirt.
I welcome his confidence and I hope it’s entirely justified. We’ll soon see.
Soro is a defensive midfielder, one of the least sexy positions on the pitch.
These guys aren’t glory hoarders, and many times their contributions go entirely un-noticed as front men get the headlines and the acclaim. But we’ve been blessed by some excellent players in this role down through the years, with Brown only being the latest of them.
It was a position Brendan Rodgers woefully neglected in his time at the club, signing only Eboue for the position and then never really playing him.
One major difference, for those who fear a repeat, between this signing and that one is stark; Eboue had played a handful of senior games.
This guy has over 100 appearances already and he’s still only 21.
Those knocking “the level” he’s played at should go for a lie-down.
Sevco just gave a contract to a guy nearing 40, in the weekend in which Liam Boyce has just downed the Ibrox club on his debut for Hearts. He arrived from England’s League One, and the mighty Burton Albion. Soro has been playing at a level considerably higher than that.
The fact is, there are people who will use even Celtic’s signings as a way to snark at the CEO and the manager. They have no shame whatsoever, but this tactic is bizarre even by their alleged standards. I have no doubt they’d have written similar dreck about the arrival, in 2011, of an unknown Kenyan footballer in the same position, who cost us a mere £900,000 from Germinal Beerschot in Belguim. He had played only half the professional games Soro has.
And who was he? Our much hoped for “blue chip” target, Victor Wanyama.
The truth is, we’ve not had a really good signing in this area of the pitch since the big man was brought to the club. Soro gives us greater tactical flexibility than we’ve had in a while. He will free up Callum McGregor to sit out some games or push further up the pitch in those in which he plays.
He will add steel to a central area which has needed it for a while.
And he takes the pressure of Scott Brown, who has been toiling away in that role on his own for a long, long while now. It will be interesting to see them both in the same team, as I’m certain will happen before long and especially if Lennon goes back to the 4-3-1-2 or the 3-5-2 formations he has been experimenting with lately.
The team needed this. The manager needed this. Trust that the player, like Klimala, has been properly scouted and that we know what we’ve spent such a substantial sum of money on. These guys will improve the squad. Soro certainly adds strength and power to an area where we badly need it, and although neither player is “blue chip” the same could have been said about a signing we made in the August window of the 2017-18 campaign, initially on loan.
His name was Odsonne Edouard.
I understand the frustration over this window so far … Lennon himself said he wants to see some experience come into the squad before it closes. Well, we’re in the final days now and we’ll see what the board does for him.
But I have no complaints about the players we’ve brought in so far … we didn’t spend £5.5 million so we could cross our fingers and hope they come good. Soro, in particular, is exciting because he’s so obviously been well scouted and he fills an important hole in the squad.