Articles

Danish Midfielder Signs For Celtic For A Year … But It’s Not On Loan.

|
Image for Danish Midfielder Signs For Celtic For A Year … But It’s Not On Loan.

The Danish midfielder Oliver Abildgaard has signed for Celtic from Rubin Kazan. He is our ninth signing of the summer window, and the final piece in the manager’s rebuild.

Oliver Abildgaard, on the other hand, fills a required berth.

A defensive midfielder with a lot of experience, he will be an excellent acquisition both for domestic games and for the Champions League. He adds two things to our squad; depth and quality.

The quality means that every player in the midfield who thought his place was safe is in a fight.

That is all to the good. It keeps players driven and focussed. It keeps them on their toes.

But more than that, it allows the manager to try various options and ways of playing. Whilst I don’t expect that he will change the style too much – why would he as it’s working? – it is nice to have the ability to explore various tactics and strategies.

Abildgaard is a hard, tough tackler with the physicality you need in that position. He’s 6’4, and is exactly the sort of player we’ve spent much of this window looking for. Celtic has gone through so many options in this part of the pitch; is this the moment we finally find the guy we’ve been looking for? I think it very well might be.

I don’t think we’ve had a natural, of the right quality, in that position for a while.

Brown was excellent there, but I never thought it was his best role. I’ve loved Callum McGregor’s immense work in that zone, but I never believed it was his best either.

Mooy can do it. Ideguchi can do it. You can even imagine Matt O’Riley in that position, with his strength and work ethic. But we’ve gone through McCarthy, Soro, Shaw and others and to no avail.

Nobody has looked like a perfect fit.

It is obvious that the manager had prioritised this position.

It is clear that he knew at some point last season that we were missing a midfield enforcer in certain games, most notably against Bodo in Europe and you could argue against the club across the city.

This is why we were linked with such a player all through the summer, and most of the names were players who seemed to be generating speculation more than actually drawing interest.

The attacking style of the team and the way the manager sets us up, and the excellence of Callum in the role, meant that it wasn’t something that needed to be rushed; there was always a feeling that we could take our time to make sure we got this signing absolutely right.

I always thought that if we were looking for one more footballer it would be in this area. The manager never faltered in his belief that it needed to be done.

I am delighted that we’ve got here and I am very curious to see where this guy fits into the big picture.

I am sure he’ll be an excellent piece of business.

The thing is … most outlets say this guy has arrived on loan.

That is not the case.

He’s here on a one year deal. We will find out what the ins and outs of that are later on, I’m sure, but he is Celtic’s player. He has already said his goodbye’s to Russia. The reason for the one year contract relates to the way his time there has come to an end; we’ve effectively bought out the final year of his deal. We’ll see how this develops, but expect international clearance to be given to the transfer, and a longer term deal to be agreed. This is why there is no mention of a “right to buy” clause.

Because in this case we simply do not require one.

This concludes an outstanding window for the club and we should all pay tribute to the people at Celtic who have worked so hard all the way through it.

Everyone at the club deserves the highest praise for making this the most fruitful window many of us have seen in years, if ever.

It has been brilliant business, and we’re ready.

Looking at the makeup of this squad you can see it a mile away; this is now a squad capable of challenging on multiple fronts. The strength is obvious, from the goalkeeping position to the centre forwards.

Bring on all comers. We’re good to go.

Share this article

9 comments

  • Roonsa says:

    Interesting. It’s always a dilemma in these situations. If the guy turns out to be brilliant and we only have him on a one year deal then he could easily do a Liam Miller on us. Sign him long term and he’s a dud then you’re looking at another Barkas or Ajeti. I don’t know the fella but I do trust Ange. Him and his recruitment team have been good thus far. The only problems I see now are:

    1) Ange has to manage his large squad and keep everyone hungry for success and

    2) I think another striker would have been good. Keeping either Kyogo or Giakoumakis fit is now an absolute necessity and, as we saw last season, not a given.

    • Cheezydee says:

      I get the impression (after the article) that this is similar to Maeda deal.

      I’d have preferred another striker but that wound be hard having 3 top strikers playing for 1 spot. I expect GG to be wanting 90 every week. We also have players that can play there, even if not quite ideal, in Maeda, Abada, Forrest. Plus there’s always January

  • Cheezydee says:

    To be honest I’ve not really seen why we bought him from the brief YouTube highlights but the club will have seen far more and Ange isn’t exactly low on the hit rate with signings.

    My only things are: McGregor is top drawer at receiving the ball in that position from defence no matter if a player is at the time trying to pick his back pocket and get us moving up the park, something I feel is crucial when we’re getting a high press. Yet to be seen if Mooy, ideguchi, new boy can do this. I personally like McGregor in there, have some since he was there under Rodgers when broony was injured. Although not a tough tackler, he reads the game very well and does a great defensive job as well as mentioned above.

    The other thing is just looking at who we have in midfield as it is. It’s good we cleared some out and have the squad almost right, but in that 6 position has McGregor, Oliver, Mooy, ideguchi, McCarthy, with McCarthy now looking like he’s played his last game. Ideguchi and Mooy look like they could play 8s, but almost seem a bit lost now in the squad, especially ideguchi. McGregor can obviously play anywhere on the park. An embarrassment of riches but we seem too overstocked now given Mooy and Oliver bought in for McGregor spot.

    Gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out over the season. Our team looks to be complete albeit a bit overstocked and questions over a few being right choices (left half of defence for me still)

  • Johnny Green says:

    I hope he can play left back if required, one of the two we have already is merely adequate and the jury is out on the other one, no pun intended.

    • Roonsa says:

      What is it wae Celtic fans and GT? He has hit his stride and is doing very well for Celtic. Give us all peace wi that Taylor bashing pish, gonnae?

  • John Trainor says:

    With the squad we have now, it appears Ange already has eyes on next season too and CL football. Both signings this week are first team players and will only push performances in those already in the first 11 jersey. Fingers crossed all goes to plan.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    I think the set up in the Champions League games will tell us a lot and possibly in the games against sevco. The enforcer type like Big Oliver might not start but after 60, especially if we’re winning and the defense is tiring we could see a starring role.

    • Roonsa says:

      This is one concern I do have with Celtic. I haven’t sen enough this season but last season there was a perceptible dip in 2nd half performances. It was in evidence the other night albeit only till it went 2-1 and it was, basically, a totally different team from the United game. But tomorrow will give us a good indicator of how we mean to go out on 2nd half performances for the season remaining.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Quite happy we’ve strengthened that area. Were too lightweight there imo. More than happy wi the squad. Only nigglin concern is our defence, in first 5 mins against DU and the R County goal, the positionin was dreadful. Need tae get that organized better and tightened up quickly. Maybe just needs a bit of time.

Comments are closed.