Hyun-Jun Yang, Celtic’s latest signing, put pen to paper on a five year deal today. He is one of those players who our intrepid media, with their vast and detailed knowledge of … err … nothing at all have characterised as a “project signing” or a squad player.
They don’t reckon that he adds anything significant to the first team squad.
But Yang won the young player of the year award over there last season, and if our hacks want to sneer at that they are welcome to do so.
But the Korean league sends players all over the world, and being voted the best of their youth players is a bigger deal than our media will admit. He is clearly not coming here to sit in the stand.
For a 21 year old he’s played a lot of first team football already; over 70 games in his native land. That’s in spite of having had to do his national service.
This kid is ready to make a big impact, and our hacks should know better than to snigger over our signings from Asia. Aside from Ideguchi, all of them are going to offer us something going forward.
Remember, too, that Celtic has been tracking this player a while. This isn’t some mad punt we’re taking here, we’ve wanted this guy and we’ve put a lot of work into this transfer.
If you look at our record of late it’s been exceptional; if you trust the system at all you have to believe that people know what they are all about and we’ve bought a real talent.
Our hacks should have learned some humility by now. They should have learned to have a little respect for the process at Celtic, and an understanding that it works.
They should have learned already not to be judgemental when it comes to the signing of players they have never heard of. A little research would not go amiss. We don’t do “project players” now, if we’re signing a player like this it’s to play first team games.
Our media critics never learn though. They write trash just because they’ve personally never heard of the guy, never watched him play and reckon that £2 million isn’t what you spend if you’re going to be bringing in a top class footballer. But tell that to the many clubs who wish they’d taken a punt on Matt O’Riley or Reo Hatate, both of whom cost less than this guy.
He cost twice as much as Daizen “Danger Mouse” Maeda as well … although I doubt we’re getting twice the player. We could have paid five times as much and not going another one of that guy. But that’s the point. Maeda cost us £1 million … that’s the steal of the century.
Quite how we got away with that I do not know but it demolishes the theory that we have to spend huge sums to get someone capable of coming right into the starting eleven.
Think about it this way; Maeda, Hatate and O’Riley – all signed in a January window – cost us a less than £5 million combined. Three game-changing signings for less than half the price of some “marquee” footballer from a renowned league.
Who was the media writing about in that window? Us?
No, a Manchester Utd reserve who went to Ibrox on loan, just because he had gone there for big money, and a clapped out football has-been with a famous name whose big contribution was missing the most important penalty in their short history.
Every single one of our trio was, and still is, a starting eleven player, even when everyone in the squad is fit. But our media clings onto an “accepted wisdom” that isn’t worth a damn. They believe what they want to believe about Celtic.
How embarrassing for them if these guys all turn out to be the Real Thing, just as those guys did. I am delighted with this signing, and although I remain deeply concerned about the Asian Cup – more on that tomorrow – I am sure he’ll be a hit.