The Italian media has suggested that Celtic has made its first move for Sydney Van Hooijdonk of Bologna.
It is unclear whether or not we made the move over the summer or whether we’ve made it in advance of the January window, but it hardly matters when you consider that we’re actively targeting a player in that area of the pitch and he’s now obviously on the list.
Van Hooijdonk is exactly the sort of player we need.
He is physically strong. He is aggressive. He has already been capped at the Under 23 level for the Dutch. He’s scored goals in Holland and Italy, and he’s still only 23. He has the perfect pedigree, and his dad, of course, is big Pierre who was an excellent Celtic striker who scored plenty for us.
At his age, and with the goals he’s already scored, I think he’s a better long term bet than Shankland.
Reports that he would be available for just £4 million put him comfortably in our price range, and when you think about it – a Dutch Under 23, at that age, with his profile and physicality – that’s the steal of the century if we can get him banging them away.
Because the re-sale value of a guy like that, in the right age bracket and with the imposing characteristics clubs in England look for, could be through the roof.
Shankland is 28, which means you’d be getting him in his prime, whatever that means … but there’s no room for improvement and if the deal doesn’t work out you’ve lost what you put in.
This story is believable because no part of it doesn’t make sense.
He comes with a famous name, he ticks the football boxes and he wouldn’t cost the earth. So yeah, whether it was a move we thought about in the summer, or something we’re only now turning our full attention to it seems clear that this is a player on our list. And that pleases me.
This is exactly the kind of deal we should be pursuing.