Nat Phillips Apparently On The Brink Of Signing For Celtic. That’s More Like It Bhoys.

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The media today says that the player we are closing in on from down south, to cover our defensive crisis, is Nat Phillips of Liverpool. Indeed, in the last half hour, that possibility has hardened into near certainty, with the player apparently set to travel to Scotland tonight.

I said in an article yesterday, “The central defender, we will get because I genuinely cannot see how we can afford not to. We may be surprised by how that ends up. I hear names being thrown around which I think can’t possibly be accurate, but which I’d take in a minute.”

So, we’ve shown some imagination after all here, and I’m glad for that.

If we get Phiillips, I will be pretty satisfied that we’ve identified someone who meets the broad characteristics of what we’re looking for; he’s physically imposing, he’s strong in the air, he has top level experience … this isn’t a project player or kid, he’s 26 years old.

I wonder if we’ll include an option to buy.

Apparently, we stand a chance of getting that with the midfielder from Benfica; again, that would change the equation somewhat because I do not want us in a position where our manager is essentially developing another club’s players for them. It’s a different argument if you’ve got the option of doing a permanent deal.

With Phillips, you can see there’s a lot of sense in including an option to buy.

We don’t know what the situation will be with, say, Cameron Carter Vickers in the summer of next year.

We don’t know if either of our two new centre backs are going to cut it.

We don’t know if one of them is going to astonish us with his talents and be swiftly linked with moves away.

So, if we can do a deal for this guy and get a buy option as part of it, we shouldn’t even hesitate to put that in the contract and bring him here for the rest of the campaign.

The competition for places at the back would be intense; that’s just how you want it.

He would need to be realistic with his wage demands; this is all stuff that can be negotiated though.

He would also have to want to come here and play long-term, but again, that’s something that would be decided closer to the time. For now, this is a more than adequate stop-gap option, this is the kind of signing we should have been aiming for earlier.

This would answer one of the questions.

It would put Brendan’s much wanted “power” in the Celtic team.

It would give us all a rest from the constant worries about going into the Champions League with a back four held together by superglue.

It’s bold and its aggressive and he would slot right in.

This is the chink of light we were waiting for, the sign that the end of this window might be better than we had believed.

If we can get this deal done, and the Portuguese midfielder with an option to buy – because I hear he is actually the sort of tough guy midfielder I’ve been banging on about – then along with Palma we’ll be almost there.

The only player left out of my priorities list would be the striker.

And of course, Sydney Van Hooijdonk’s name is doing the rounds … and at 6’3, with a decent enough scoring record and plenty of experience, he’s a much better bet than a 21-year-old Dane who has just broken into first team football at Bronby. That word again – “power” – most certainly applies to that big lad.

Some people would prioritise the left back or the keeper, and we might yet get movement there … but three out of four of the positions I think are the most pressing … that would be a huge step towards bringing some satisfaction, and settling some of the nerves.

And even as I write this more news breaks that Liel Abada is on the brink of agreeing a new deal with the club. Which I’ll have to do more on later, but a significant and welcome development if true and one that should definitely be greeted well by every supporter.

We wanted – demanded – that the club deliver for the manager.

Maybe, just maybe, here at the last, they might yet do it.

Fingers crossed, as we enter the last two days.

Get these deals done, Celtic, and give this whole support the lift it badly needed.

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  • jrm63 says:

    Abada. Please God no. The most over-rated player I have seen at Parkhead. Not the worst but the most over-rated. I have no idea where his reputation comes from or what it based upon. 2 goals against Rangers both of which the goalkeeper should have saved.

    • Woodyiom says:

      “The most over-rated player I have seen at Parkhead” – if that’s true then you must be about 15years old!! Abada has actually scored 3 goals against Rangers in just 9 games. As a comparison Jamesy Forrest has 2 goals in TWENTY SEVEN games against them (including a period when our biggest rivals were on their knees). Maeda has just ONE goal in 10 games!! Abada has also scored in a cup final and arguably the most crucial goal in Ange’s 2 years reign vs Dundee Utd in the 90th minute when we were down to 10men and looked like dropping 2points right after Rangers had done the same thing. That goal undoubtedly propelled us to the 3-0 win four days later against Rangers that put us top of the league and we never looked back!

      Abada has scored 29 goals in 105 appearances for Celtic (that’s nearly a goal every three and a half games) – as a comparison Jamesy Forrest is pretty much a goal every 5 games and Maeda is a goal every 4 games. Only Jota had a better record.

      Abada has definitely got weaknesses and needs to learn to be more physical/robust in the Scottish games and work much harder at tracking back/helping out etc BUT in no way is he overrated – he has the knack of ghosting into space in the box when crosses are coming in from the other side and, more importantly being on the end of them! That is not something that can be taught – its pure instinct and priceless !!

  • Captain Swing says:

    The one that intrigues most is undoubtedly Van Hooydonk Jnr. We wisely resisted temptation to sign Larsson Jnr because although he’s clearly talented his biggest handicap in a hooped shirt would have been that he’s a different sort of player than his old man, and not as prolific. Van Hooydonk appears to be EXACTLY the same sort of player as his father was, and given Oh’s extended absence, an increasingly physical domestic game and Kyogo being a tiny bit fragile due to his diminutive stature, he could be just the job. Plus, like “Vennegoor of Hesselink” you’d really feel you were receiving your moneys worth by getting ‘Van Hooydonk’ printed on the back of your shirt….

  • Johnno says:

    Definitely a step in the right direction and about time also.
    Not a problem with CL in mind also with Liverpool not involved.
    We were desperate for time with the CB injury list the way it is, and this potential signing should hopefully fill that problem now.
    Could increase the chances of going with 3 at the back which could help solve the LB position, with having the option of the 3 or 4 at the back depending upon who we are up against.
    Getting another ready to go midfielder would help our cause also, especially with the extra time available for the likes of Holm and kwon to get up to speed and become more familiar with there surroundings.
    Still think a keeper could well be bought in yet, and allowing for big Ben to potentially be loaned out, as surly we don’t intend to stick with Bain as a no2 for the season?
    Would like to think that some planning has already gone into the CL for next season already, but starting to get the time now to see how that develops over the course of the season now.
    Just hoping now Rodgers has a better style of play in mind now, with moves to bring in the extra quality and experience that was required, with far better competition for place’s and more options also.

  • Henriksgoldenboot says:

    According to Wikipedia (if you believe that sort of thing) then he’s down as on loan with us. So deal done. Not convinced he won’t be another Shane Duffy.

  • Adam Thomas says:

    James a Liverpool b player it’s the champions league we are going into sorry but ipox is just a nothing game ..esp at this time of the campaign.

  • SSMPM says:

    He appears to have done well during the Van Dyke injury period, if reports are to be trusted. He not the proven big guy I’d hoped for but, if we get an option to buy which I doubt, it could turn out very well. It may take a few weeks to get up to pace but even if he starts Sunday at the midden, and god forbid even if we don’t get a result, I think it’ll be a positive. So I’m hoping soon we’ll have several CBs fit, bedded in and competing for places in a 3 man defence.
    Still can’t believe the amount of nonsense being spouted about getting Charlie Mulgrew in as a stop gap. OMG.
    With Parma all but in, we’re slowly getting there and with a bit of much needed height. Pierre’s bhoy, a rugged CB, quality goalie and LB and job’s a goodun.
    Wiz writing this listening to the huns getting absolutely hammered. It’s a good day. HH

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ SSMPM Can agree wi that. Tho makin a huge mistake if we don’t get a midfield stopper in there NOW. Without one, teams will play right through us. If we go intae i.e sunday’s game wi McGregor, O’reilly and Turnbull in there, we’re askin for big trouble. Nae muscle. Beale will probably put Laudstrum AND Jack both in there and they’ll bully our mid from the off.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Tho ahm glad we’ve got someone comin in there and it had tae happen, ah’ll keep judgement until we see what the guy can dae. We’ve been here before wi these ‘shoe horned in’ signins. Shane Duffy’s a harsh reminder.

  • BhilltheTim says:

    Sydney van Hooijdonk? Any relation?

  • Johnny Green says:

    Everything is looking sort of rosey again, can’t be bad, let’s get these signings across the line and suddenly we will be in a good place after a successful transfer window. The huns getting pumped is another bonus prior to Sunday, that will not be easy for them to shake off and we can take advantage of it.

  • Wee Gerry says:

    Not sure about this one, James, as I haven’t seen him play but these last minute desperation signings have rarely worked for us in the past.

    Still no new keeper or left back either nor the needed bruiser of a defensive midfielder.

    But Paddy Roberts might still be available …

  • SSMPM says:

    No noise today on the Hooijdonk signing? Still got an a few old tops from the Tommy Burns era one of which has his dad’s name on it so a there’s a few bob to be gained by not having to buy a new one if we sign him, especially the cost of all those letters.
    Not quite the same bonus money as Celtic will receive from the rankers getting smashed out of the CL though double bonus. God they’re shite.
    Any team with a bit of energy and movement can pass their way around them duffers so do that Sunday and things will be fine. That C.ntwell likes to throw his toys oot the pram and should we repeat their misery he’ll be off the park. C’mon a Hoops

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