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.