Celtic are in the news today with a story that we’re looking at buying a striker. Ryan Mmaee of Ferencvaros, who has had one Hell of a season and comes with all sorts of glowing recommendations.
There’s a lot about the story that rings true … except one thing.
Is buying a striker really one of Celtic’s top priorities?
In some ways I would be very surprised if this story was true. In other ways, I’d be very disappointed if it turned out not to be. I think there’s a good argument for going out and buying another forward, but you could equally mount a case that it’s the one area of the pitch where we are already well and truly taken care of.
Our first choice strikers are Giakoumakis and Kyogo.
But Daizen Maeda is more than decent as a backup, although the manager plays him out wide. Forrest has played as a striker. Abada has played as a striker. So too has Jota from time to time.
That’s six front men, three of whom are recognised strikers. Do we need a fourth recognised striker at the club when we already have such firepower? Are there not parts of the team which need this money spent more than in the forward line?
Actually, it’s not a bad idea to have another front man. The last time Celtic was as strong, up front, as it is right now was during Rodgers time when Dembele, Edouard and Griffiths were all fighting for a single striker’s slot. Before that you have to go back to Martin O’Neill’s Larsson-Sutton-Hartson strike-force to find us as potent.
This manager believes in redundancy; it’s an engineering term. It means that you install components which aren’t entirely necessary, but are there in case something else in the machine breaks down. It’s also about planning ahead, in case some club swoops in next summer with a big bid for Kyogo or Giakoumakis. Then their replacement has been at the club all along.
This is how the smart clubs operate.
Having additional firepower also gets you through these sporadic injury crises which seem to hit Celtic a lot. Provided this guy doesn’t cost a lot of money it’s pretty much a no risk bit of business, with a high potential upside.
Obviously there are other areas of the pitch where reinforcements are more needed; central defence, left back, left midfield perhaps and a ball winning hard man in the middle of the pitch.
But Ange’s philosophy is all about scoring more goals than the opposition so I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if he was thinking along these lines. In addition, just because we might choose to do this it doesn’t mean that those other areas will be neglected.
Celtic has serious money in the bank with the guarantee of more … this summer, we genuinely could have it all.
Good times are in front of us folks.