Moritz Jenz has spoken with passion about life at Celtic, and showered fulsome praise on the club. “Celtic is a religion” he says, and he sounds very much like a man who wants to convert and make a lifetime commitment to us. Which is good if the club wants to exercise its option to buy him when this campaign is over. The question is, will we?
I have been impressed by him, and in particular when partnered beside Carter Vickers. The two of them look like the most solid defensive partnership we’ve had for yonks, and I would dearly love to think that we might want to keep it together.
But we’ve got Starfelt on the books too, and now Kobayashi as well. Four very good centre backs … it’s almost too much to hope for. I would take him on the basis that I think we need four, with Welsh in reserve, but that doesn’t mean those at Celtic will.
The plan is coming along nicely, and I don’t think you can ever have too many good players within it. Jenz has a lot of talent, you can see that, but there’s one thing that might just stand in the way of this and particularly with who we already have on board.
How much is the release clause for?
Because if this guy is going to be cheap then we might well see this an investment for the future and take the punt. I have wondered from the start whether the player himself might be the sticking point; he seems as if he’s up for pledging his future, so it comes down, as so much does, to the law of hard numbers. Can we afford him? Do we want to?
Ange might well think that the Carter Vickers-Jenz partnership is the one he wants to move forward with. I think most of us would agree that this would be no bad thing. Jenz is still growing into the role and it seems likely that he’ll develop into a real great player … he has a presence and a composure which will only grow as the spends time at the club.
So I think if the finances are good that we will certainly look at doing the deal. And if they aren’t I wonder if we’ll be tempted to stick with what we have. There does come a point when all you are doing is stockpiling players, and you can see already that there are a couple of people in the midfield we might want to move on.
If we do sign Jenz and Kobayashi, Carter Vickers, Starfelt and Welsh are already at Celtic, does one of them move on instead? The big American should be kept no matter what. A lot of people would not be terribly sad if we sacrificed Starfelt for the greater good.
Even less would be worried if we got rid of Stephen Welsh, but he has one advantage over the others and it’s that he counts towards our home grown players for Europe. Not a good enough reason, maybe, to justify his place in the team … but certainly in the squad.
I know this; this Celtic team has more options at the back now than I’ve seen at any time for a long, long time. In fact, I cannot remember when we last had so many good defensive players to choose from. For that reason alone I think this deal is justified.
In the end one man – and only one man – should make this call.
If Ange likes him then the club ought to move heaven and earth to do the deal, no matter who else is on the books. I would imagine that if we agreed to a set fee it’s within our price range … and now that the player wants to be here and has pledged that, and remember how seriously Ange takes that, I think this one has a better than even chance of going through in the summer.