Today the first of the January business was done.
Out the way. Of course, it was.
We have a bloated squad and need to trim some of the fat, so I had a feeling we’d see a couple of early outgoings. The first of them is Ideguchi, who has barely kicked a ball for us since signing, the one honest-to-God flop of the first Ange Postecoglou window.
Ideguchi should have been a good signing. There was one flashing warning light, his time at Leeds where he wasn’t on the radar. But a lot of players have flopped under that kind of pressure and we were all willing to overlook it and give him a pass.
But perhaps it’s just as simple as that some players cannot settle outside their homeland. He’s very obviously a good footballer, that much is obvious from the rave reviews he’s been getting in Japan whilst on loan. So I can only assume that he didn’t enjoy living in the UK and he would not be the only player that’s happened to.
But we’re getting nearly £1 million for him, which is pretty decent.
We’ve not made too big a loss on him, and what we will lose from this deal will not be enough to bother most people at the club. We have a weird habit for doing this, and getting money back.
Except in the high profile cases of Barkas and Ajeti where we wrote off a lot of cash and couldn’t get these guys off the wage bill, most of the time this stuff works out for us pretty well.
I think often of Patryk Klimala, who we signed in spite of John Kennedy later admitting he didn’t fit our style of play; a classic example of some bean-counter making a judgement on a player without knowing that the needs of the manager were. It’s ridiculous that we’re back to that again, but maybe one of the reasons we are as that we rarely take a big hit.
Losing a title because of it would be a big hit though. Rodgers leaving over it would be a bit hit. This board better get sensible about this and cut this nonsense out.
Klimala was not a good signing. Not even close to it.
He did very little in a Celtic shirt to convince us that he had anything to offer. But we got our money back for him, which I considered astonishing. He went to New York, where he played well but not as an out and out striker; they played him wide left in a counter-attacking team … exactly the sort of team Kennedy said he was best suited to.
So don’t rule out that some of our summer flops might make us the money back, because they turn out not to be bad footballers … just not ideally suited to this current Celtic team or the system we play. Perhaps not best suited to Scottish football either.
That doesn’t make these signings right. It doesn’t mean that this stupid, self-defeating policy of building the team and then letting the manager work with it is not as absurd as it sounds because it it is and the wreckage of our summer proves it.
You have to wonder if some of our summer signings have “got” something though, it’s just that it’s not something the current manager is particularly interested in or which meets his needs. Which confirms the stupidity behind signing them.
But think about Lagerbielke; if one of the criticisms about him is that he doesn’t have pace does that render him useless? To us, maybe, and how we play, but a team which plays defensively, a team which doesn’t commit too many men forward … he would be very good in that sort of side and that’s why we’re confident in getting our money back.
This is only the start of it. About a half dozen players, or more, will be leaving this club over the course of this window. That’s the beginning of the Rodgers clear-out … and the start of his assembling his own team. Watch this space.