Is The Answer To Celtic’s Striker Dilemma Actually Sitting On Our Own Doorstep?

Image for Is The Answer To Celtic’s Striker Dilemma Actually Sitting On Our Own Doorstep?

A week or so ago, I wrote an article about Rocco Vata and how Celtic must not be bounced into giving game time to someone who isn’t ready.

But the news yesterday that Vata has been given an ultimatum by the club; sign a new deal or rot in the reserves until the nine months of your current contract is up. He wants to go out on loan, and Celtic seem happy enough to proceed with that … but they want a solid, serious answer about his future first.

Celtic is entirely right to want to protect itself. Mikey Johnston signed a new deal before heading out on loan. Ben Summers, a fantastic young prospect, has gone to Dunfermline for the season, and before he left he too put pen to paper on a new contract.

That’s how it will be from now on. Our club will look out for its own interests, and if certain young players and their agents aren’t comfortable with that then it’s a tough old world.

But something has changed here, and it might be in important.

With the injury to Oh we are, in fact, looking for a backup striker. If Rodgers tells him that the next six weeks are make-or-break and that if he impresses, he’ll be a member of the first team squad, that might just be what he needs to stay.

We clearly rate Rocco Vata, but this will only come about if the player and the club are on the same page. He has to make a decision on that new deal, and if he makes one that is to his and our benefit then I reckon he could be the answer. Without his signing a new deal the idea becomes a double edged sword, one that cut us just as easily, and I don’t think we’ll do it.

Because what if, in making Vata that backup, he does well enough that the interest in him solidifies into clubs submitting offers and he decides that in nine months he’s off regardless of what opportunities we’ve afforded him?

It could and does happen; football is full of stories just like that, stories about players who got the chance, grabbed it and then used it to leverage themselves a better deal somewhere else. It’s clear Celtic are at the end of the road on these negotiations; Vata either signs a new deal now or we have to look at getting rid of him permanently, getting for him whatever transfer fee we can instead of risking some low-ball development figure next year.

So it’s almost crunch-time for this kid, and I think right now is the time for him to pen a new agreement and take the chance that will be his for the next six weeks whilst Oh is on the treatment table. I had clean forgot about Vata being one of the available options until my friend Dougie mentioned it to me on Facebook in the wee small hours this morning … and I had been intending to revisit the issue of his contract anyway, but it just never crossed my mind that the two might be related and so I think him for reminding me they are.

Don’t forget; as long as Kyogo and Maeda stay fit we’re talking about a backup player here, but at Celtic those guys have been getting a lot of time on the pitch of late and that means that he really does have a shot at getting in this team and staying in it.

If he signs a new deal. Because without that, I reckon all this is academic anyway and the last he’ll see of Celtic will be a game in the Highland League somewhere. That would be a shame.

Share this article


  • John says:

    Vata is not a striker but a right winger of which we have loads.

  • Charlie Kelly says:

    Another player who thinks he’s too good for us,if he’s not going too sign new contract or show any commitment to us chase him.He will be another one driving a taxi telling everyone I used to play for celtic

  • BJM says:

    Slightly off topic , I’m by no means an accountant or any sort of financial advisor but would I be correct in assuming the money in bank from previous years has had all taxes paid on it. The current financial year any profits will be taxed at between 20% & 40%
    assuming the season money takes care of the bulk of the wages.Any profits ie transfer nett difference currently at pls 10 million
    Champions league 35 million sponsorships and other earnings 10 million = 55 million assuming worst scenario half of this is used for other expenses infrastructure maintenance etc that still leave as a large chunk of change . Probably 6 to 10 million in tax .
    Surely it would make sense to invest the taxable profit in players infrastructure etc instead of handing it over to Hmrc .
    I’m not speaking buying 15 million players ,maybe a couple of gems from Scandinavia/ Bosnia/ Croatia for 4/ 7 million.
    As I said I’m no expert maybe someone with financial background could clarify.
    Maybe we are going to do this before the window closes hope so ,would love to see us put sevco properly in there place.

  • Scud Missile says:

    The pressure is on Mr Beal or no Beal today,as after the defeat to Killie last week and the narrow victory against 10 men in Europe through the week big BEEFY BENNETT has blanked Beal since these games.
    The rumours have it that he needs a convincing result today and in Europe next week,should either game be a failure he has been told he is out the door.

  • Johnno says:

    Would say it’s possibly more to do with the club wanting to try and protect our younger talents with the 8 Scottish players required for CL.
    Vata Would be the obvious replacement for Forrest within the squad in the future.
    Ben summers is possibly being lined up for turnbull, if turnbull has decided his future is elsewhere beyond this season.
    This 8 Scottish players needed for European matches is going to remain an ongoing problem for the club, especially with such a ridiculous pathway of lowland league to CL in play within Scottish football.
    Even this season we remain at only 7 players currently who may be part of Rodgers plan’s for the season, yet a few of them would only be making up numbers as we wouldn’t want to depend upon them to much either.
    No easy solutions to an ongoing problem within the club, with future CL football in mind

  • michael mccormack says:

    Thought he was a right winger , can’t play him at centre forward if it is not his natural position , it is a specialised position and therefore throwing any forward in there doesn’t work seen it too many times in the past with Forrest , Sinclair , Abada . Buy the boy Duk from Aberdeen with Scales of Welsh as a make weight in the deal won’t break the bank either.

    • David frame says:

      I would test Aberdeen on the availability of duk,if it is a reasonable price then go for it he has shown he can score in the Scottish premiership & would Be a decent player to have however I reckon Brendan has players he wants & Celtic have been very discreet the past few years on transfer policy

  • John S says:

    There’s no point in having these players if Celtic don’t utilise them when necessary. If Vata can play without fear there could be a solution both ways. I doubt he’d get a first team berth anywhere else in the top leagues for now. Mind you if he doesn’t sign and agents/clubs start wafting money in his direction he could easily disappear into obscurity like a number of other past ‘prospects’.

  • David frame says:

    I would love Rocco vata to sign a new deal the Bhoy has bags of talent & in my opinion is too good for the b team,get him involved in the 1st team & let the lad know that he is there on merit & it’s up to him to prove he is worth a starting jersey,I reckon it would be a mistake to let him leave..???

  • David frame says:

    I would love Rocco vata to sign a new deal the Bhoy has bags of talent & in my opinion is too good for the b team,get him involved in the 1st team & let the lad know that he is there on merit & it’s up to him to prove he is worth a starting jersey,I reckon it would be a mistake to let him leave..???

Comments are closed.