I enjoyed the articles today, particularly the one from my good friend Paddy Sinat over at The Boot Room, about the recent study by the Swiss organisation the CIES Football Observatory, which “reveals” that we have four players which they value at over £10 million in the squad. If you’re reading that and thinking “Wait … just four?” you aren’t alone.
I don’t know how they come up with their figures, but we could, and would, all take issue with that especially when they named players are O’Riley, Hatate, Maeda and Abada. They believe all four are actually worth £15 million plus and I don’t think there would be much in the way of disagreement there, particularly as a Leeds bid of £10 million has already been turned down by the club, and not that long ago either. But it leaves a lot of our stars undervalued.
These things always do, and there’s a certain bias in there when it comes to evaluating players based on their age. This is a trait in football analysis, but one not shared by (most) clubs who place a high value on experience, especially successful leadership. Which is why Rodgers wanted players who have been over the course in the last window.
So, to value Kyogo and McGregor under £10 million (they have identical £8.5 million valuations, which is the same as Greg Taylor; no laughing at the back) based on their age profiles is a little silly as we all know that both of them would command at least £10 million if they were available for transfer right now. And Cameron Carter Vickers, valued at the same? How that conclusion is arrived at I simply do not know, but I do know it’s incredibly low for him.
But where is Alastair Johnston? In my view, he can command a fee as high as anyone on this list because he is an outstanding footballer who has the perfect blend of defensive and attacking attributes and could go and look good in any league. I like Oh. I think he can be an absolute stand-out in this team and can eventually hold a huge valuation.
Of course, these are just the obvious players, those we already know are quality and could go for big fees if we all cared about that as some do. It takes no account of the “hidden value” in our squad which is yet to fully emerge and show itself.
Say whatever you like about Celtic’s transfer policies, and I have said plenty, but we have a nice habit of finding these guys so it’s more than possible that Yang, Holm, Palma or one of the two centre backs, will prove worthy that sort of money … and you would bet on that based on the track record and the success rate when it comes to emerging talent. We have to see a lot more of Kwon to know what he’s got, and we’ve not clapped eyes on Tillio yet.
Bernardo is a graduate of the prestigious Benfica academy and all told, a quality footballer. A lot of water has to pass under the bridge before we can know what he’s worth though and to get the full benefits of it we need to secure him as our footballer. But if all goes according to plan there is little doubt that he will join the list of those with an eight-figure valuation.
The contrast is stark when you look across the city to the colossal mess they have made of transfers over there. Our club is miles in front of them at this stuff, and that’s especially clear when you see someone like Palma signing for us after they turned him down.
There is not one player in their side who can you confidently say would fetch an eight figure fee. Our ability to spot these guys, develop and sell them is one of the principle reasons for our strength. Even without the other major structural and financial advantages we have over Ibrox, this would be a huge one. This is why they cannot catch us, no matter what they do.