When we signed our boy from Israel a couple of days ago, I thought it might be the signal that we were getting serious, at last, in the transfer market. It seems we were, and although there were no signings yesterday, not even the kid from Watford which I assumed was a done deal and which everyone was waiting on dropping, we weren’t exactly idle either.
The transfer deadline for the second round of the Champions League has passed us by.
Underwhelmed as we are by it, there are two (not one, and thanks again to my excellent readers) wildcard possibilities, which means if we can get some business done up until Monday we will still have options for that match.
At the bottom end of the pitch, I’m still worried.
At the top end, not so much anymore.
The lad from Israel is player we’ve been tracking a while, brought to us by an agent who knows this club and we’ve done business with before. Duhan is a Friend of The Man.
There were some who did think his signing was an indication that we were working off Lawwell’s old list and to an extent perhaps we are. But the new boss is in total command.
Today we’ve completed the signing of Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi; there is no question at all that this is an “Ange signing”, a player he knows and has scouted and recommended, a player who he has confidence is.
It was a costly bit of business too, so after a couple of free transfers we are, at last, getting into gear and the money is being spent.
This is the first real piece of the jigsaw which definitely comes from the vision Ange has for the club.
It’s early doors, but he’s putting his stamp on this team now and it is going to be interesting to watch as he works.
This is a real signing, this is when we start to see the outlines of the plan.
So who is this guy?
Well other sites are going to do a much better analysis on him than anything I would do, so I’ll leave that to them, highlighting only the continued excellence of The Celtic Analysis twitter feed, which has a great breakdown on him.
Happy Furuhashi Friday! ? ??
We’ve been very busy this morning, watching footage and crunching the numbers on Celtic’s newest player!
Below is a thread both with a full stat report and initial video analysis
Wee spoiler: This is very exciting!
— The Celtic Analysis (@CynicAnalysis) July 16, 2021
What comes across watching the videos is that his technique is outrageous.
You can see it best in his finishing; his ability to put the ball exactly where he wants it is obvious, from his placed shots to his off-cuff split-second finishes. There’s a degree of craftsmanship in a lot of them which is the mark of a truly excellent player.
And here’s the other thing; he plays on the left.
Reports this morning describe him as a striker. He’s playing there right now, but actually he’s more predominantly a left sided attacker, what we would call an inside forward.
This is where the shape of Ange’s new team is really starting to come into focus. He and Liel Abada are clearly being signed with the manager’s 4-3-3 system in mind. One of them plays on the left, the other on the right.
Here’s what’s really notable about them is that although neither is exactly an out-and-out forward, both contribute a high number of goals, and this is genuinely exciting because you can see the system being worked out here.
This is a very specific template we’re working to here, these are wide men whose game is cutting inside and putting the ball in the net.
Which means that the Abada signing is much more clearly thought out – in terms of what the manager wants – than was apparent just from that deal alone. Taken in isolation you might have said we were working off an old list somewhere.
Taken alongside this one, there’s a plan, there’s a concept, there’s a specific system being built for.
I would say we’re not finished at the top half of the field yet either.
Once Edouard goes there will clearly be moves made to bring another striker in, and in fact we probably need another striker anyway although it’s clear that this guy can play in that role.
We’ve heard a lot of talk about how Ange wants the team to play; this is the first concrete evidence that this is a team being built to his design and his exact specifications.
You have to give credit to the club as well; we’ve just ticked two very big boxes and for a combined fee of more than £7 million.
With the big Swedish defender almost certainly clocking in by close of business Monday, that’s a good sum spent as the rebuilding, finally, gets properly underway.