Have you heard the one about Gareth Bale?
This is the difference between Us and Them. We treat this thing as a joke, because we all know that’s exactly what it is. A joke. There is zero prospect of us moving for Gareth Bale and there is zero prospect of us getting him if the board went collectively mad and decided to try. That’s why I opened with a line that reads like a joke, because it is.
There is a Welsh wing player linked with Celtic today which might have more to it. I think it’s equally improbable for reasons that I’ll outline, but it’s a more realistic story and there’s no doubt about that.
The player is Rabbi Matondo, currently playing in Belgium.
Check out the clip of him I posted below, and you’ll see why we might be interested. He’s bagged a lot of goals in Belgium this year, and so it’s something of a breakthrough campaign for him.
But the clubs in England know who this kid is … and they are sniffing around.
He ticks every box we’d be interested in. He is young, he has talent, he scores goals and he once spent time at the Manchester City academy, and if we’ve had good reports from there that’s a good reason to suspect we might be interested.
At the moment this is speculation, mostly in Wales and picked up by our media for the idea that this might come down to an “auction” between our club and the one across the city. As if we would have to worry about losing a battle like that, especially if it came down to cold hard cash and the respective ambitions of the clubs.
The thing is, if you watch those clips you’ll see where he plays. Predominantly on the left side of midfield. Now, you can argue that we’ve needed cover there for a while … but with Jota looking like he’ll sign on and Maeda proving to be one Hell of an asset on that side of the pitch you wonder to yourself where this guy would get a game.
What does Schalke want for him? Millions, but not as many millions as they once thought that they would command. The Belgians at Cercle Brugge could have had him for £3 million … that price tag will, of course, be substantially higher with his having been a success there. That, on the surface of it, rules out the mob across the city completely.
But would we be interested? We would fancy this kid? If we hadn’t signed Maeda and watched as he turned into a powerhouse performer I’d have said “of course we would” … but I just wonder now if the left side of midfield is really the priority it once was.
Ange will know best on this, of course …
I’ll tell you this; if we’re talking about signing a Welsh winger, it’ll be this one and not the one filling the gibbering hordes across the city with fantasy football dreams which have no basis in reality.
The question, as I’ve already said is, do we really need another play wide left?