What Do Press Reports Of Howe’s Alleged Targets Tell Us About His Plan For Celtic?

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Imagine that the press has it right for once; imagine they are correct that Howe is coming in as manager and that he has already started laying out the type of players he wants to bring to the club? The media has identified two at the moment.

So for once, let’s imagine that the press is correct. What do we learn?

Well the two players who’ve been named are Joshua King and Steve Cook, both players that Howe knows well and who he believes can do a job for him in Scotland, and it’s true that both are a cut above the usual fare in the SPL.

But both players are 29 years old. Neither has a resale value. So if we go for these guys we’re bringing them in on deals which will allow us to acquire two very good footballers for the here-and-now, with the here and now very much the focus.

This is a dramatic shift from where we traditionally try to be.

Celtic’s model, as we all know, has tended to focus on development, on signing players we can turn into the Next Big Star and sell on for a profit.

None of these guys is in that bracket; they are both very experienced footballers who can come in and do an immediate job. That’s a shift, and in some ways it would be a welcome one.

In others, you wonder if ditching the development idea entirely would be a good one.

We need a mix and match approach; we should be trying to find more experienced players.

We’ll need them to reach the right level quickly. But we can’t give up on the idea of finding younger ones too, and fortunately Howe isn’t the type to do so.

In fact, he can be credited with discovering Cook and he first signed King when he was still in his early 20’s. These guys were on one end of the spectrum when he first came across them, and they are at the other end now. The instinct is correct here.

Both footballers are available on free transfers; there is something interesting about that too. The Bosman market has been chronically underused by our club, and this summer there happen to be a number of very good players out of contract and it is good to know that this is a source we’re willing to finally tap. Howe will know well who’s worth talking to.

If he takes the job (and he should) it seems that things will be done in a different way. Our current model has its advantages, but there are issues with it too.

Tapping the Bosman market is well overdue, and we’re not going to wrestle the title back from Ibrox by spending the summer chasing project footballers; we’re replacing key players here and we have to do that with a certain level of quality.

If the press has this one correct, we’re on the right lines I think.

The Rumour Guy is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow.

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