I think I’ve made one major error in my writing about the Rocco Vata situation; at one point I think I wrote that he is clearly getting some bad advice. I couldn’t have been more wrong, because actually the advice he is getting from the people closest to the action is spot on.
In an interview which is doing the rounds online, his agent spoke at length about his situation. Players listen to their agents. That his agent also happens to be his dad is all the more reason for him to pay close attention to what he is being told.
Rudi Vata doesn’t believe his son is ready for a move abroad. As I suspected, Rocco himself does not want to sign a new deal at Celtic and thinks it’s time to go and play in a foreign league. But his dad is confident that he can reach the top of the game and thinks that a bad move now will prove to be costly later on, and of course he is correct.
Too many young players in the game make this mistake now, and although Rudi believes that his son deserves more opportunities at Celtic than he has had so far, he recognises that the only way to change that is to work harder and dig deeper and prove himself to the coaches at our club. He knows something else too; if he isn’t willing to put in the hard yards right here, he will certainly find it much more difficult to do it somewhere else.
This is a father looking out for his kid, but there’s a savvy businessman here too because if Rocco Vata goes abroad and spends his time on the bench there, he might find himself back in Scotland before long and it will not be at a club in the top flight but somewhere much lower on the scale, and we know this because we’ve seen it happen before.
What that does to his future contracts doesn’t even have to be guessed at.
He wouldn’t be the first young player who left this club expecting to find the Promised Land just to find out that the grass wasn’t necessary greener.
Celtic will make him a good offer, and if we do, as I said before, he will not be signing it to go back to the Lowland League. You have to think we would only make it and he would only sign it if the club was going to consider him a player in the first team.
That’s his platform, and other players have made great use of it to get to the big money elsewhere.
For his father, this is not just a football decision but a sporting one too though. He thinks that in spite of the lack of opportunities here so far that his kid can crack it and that if he does then the sky’s the limit. If he goes abroad, he’s taking his chances, far from home, amongst strangers.
He’s been at Celtic since he was a kid. This is a familiar place filled with people who will offer him encouragement and continued support. Those things are important.
If he listens to his dad he will do the right thing, and I have to agree that staying at Celtic is probably the best thing for him in his career right now, especially if the door to the first team is now open.
Rodgers wants him to work harder. His dad agrees that he has to.
That’s two incredibly smart men giving him the same advice, and if he’s got any sense he’ll put his frustrations aside and pay attention.
If he does that, then we might see the player we’ve heard is in there somewhere, and if he cracks the squad, gets into the team and gives us some good years he’ll go in time to earn the megabucks and at the same time answer all the questions we’ve been asking ourselves.