Celtic Should Pass On Bernardo But There’s a Case For Signing Adam Idah.

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Every single transfer window, Celtic is forced to make choices and compromises. Even with £60 million in the bank and a chairman who knows that’s an untenable position, that is not going to change. We are still facing those sorts of decisions.

On top of that, there are now European football financial spending limits which limit what we can do, and so even if the will was there to spend every penny of that money, we’re still facing restrictions based on what we earn because of the wages to turnover requirements.

This puts us in one Hell of a spot, especially as our board over-bloated the squad in the summer window with too many players who were sub-par at best.

The dominos don’t stop falling on that one.

And so, whatever the outcome of this season, we go into the summer knowing that we will have to compromise yet again, because we don’t have the strategic mindset, because we let problems fester these last two windows and we didn’t fix some of the obvious things that were wrong. And it means that in the summer to come other things will get missed.

This is the inevitable consequence of having this board, so limited in its thinking. The manager will need to assess what the clear priorities are, and much of it will depend on whether we can shift some of the deadwood off our books.

One of the questions we have to answer involves our loanees. Do we try to sign one or both of them? We have an agreement in place to buy Bernardo for a set fee. We do not have a right to buy for Idah. Who knows what his club would want for him?

Nevertheless, it’s a question we should be asking. He’s impressive.

He fits the manager’s style of play, which is more important to the team than many people might want to admit. I think we need a real quality striker. Idah is not of the standard we need to reach the next level and act as proper competition for Kyogo. So, we need one of those.

But I think it’s important to note that Adah Idah has easily pushed Oh to third choice, and I’d be looking to replace one with the other in Rodgers shoes. Who knows what we would get for Oh? But investing it in Idah would be an upgrade to our backup option.

He would play too, plenty of games, and he would be a big hit with the fans, who already have more faith in him that they do in the big Korean who isn’t a bad player … just not what we require.

Having watched him now over a period of a few months, I don’t believe there is a case to be made for paying £6 million for Paolo Bernardo. That’s a lot of money and to spend that on a midfielder about whom very real doubts persist would be ridiculous. Hatate and O’Riley cost us less than half of that between them, and delivered from the first.

There are reports today which suggest that we might be willing to sign him at a negotiated fee. Being honest, that would have to be some discount because I wouldn’t sign him at all based on what we have seen from him so far.

He’s a squad player. We have too many of those already.

The old wisdom says “whenever there is doubt there is no doubt” and that’s absolutely true when it comes to buying players.

If we’re going to spend a sum like that, we need to be absolutely certain of what we’re getting, and the only thing we’re certain of is that he’s hasn’t done enough to justify that price tag. It’s a shame. With his pedigree we might have had a star.

But this, of course, is why you bring players in on loan with an option to buy in the first place. You can find out what you need to know without taking the risk that you’re getting someone who doesn’t hit the mark. He has looked good in certain games, but on other days not so much, and it’s that basic inconsistency which should lead us to pass on him.

There are better options out for that money. What’s more important is that there are almost certainly better options out there for less money, and with the right scouting team we should be able to find them. We need at least one central midfielder. Probably two.

At least one of them needs to be a ball-winning hard-man. If we’re going to spend £6 million on a player in that role then all good, but he can’t be some punt. We need to be sure.

These are tough decisions, and if you wanted a clear example of why you don’t give the head of recruitment job to someone based on his second name you could hardly get a clearer one. Ultimately, the man who will have to decide this is the boss himself, and it looks very much like he isn’t going anywhere in the summer, so the planning should have started already.

I would be amazed, absolutely amazed, if Paolo Bernardo featured in his thinking.

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  • Michael McCartney says:

    I think both players are talented but are inconsistent, this is to be expected as both are young prospects. As long as the Manager OK’s the signings for next season I’ll leave it up to him.
    If he gets it horribly wrong I’ll criticise him and if he gets most of it right I’ll praise him, that’s the luxury of being a football fan.
    With no director of football or chief scout appointed yet, you do wonder what’s going on behind the scenes at Celtic these days.

  • Norman Conk says:

    James I would stick to club matters etc which you are great with and and leave the actual football football chat to one side. It would be madness not to sign Bernardo. I’d take him over hatate every day of the week.

    • James Forrest says:

      I don’t know what you think you see. If you think he’s a better player than Hatate it’s you who needs to stick to something else.

      • Andy Mack says:

        Norman conk that’s crazy talk. If you think Bernardo’s better than Hatate then you’re either 10 years old or very drunk.
        Or a sh#t stirring cream bun.

  • Brattbakk says:

    The money isn’t right for Bernardo but there’s still time for him to impress by winning us the league. I wouldn’t sign Idah, he’s proved we need a player like him but not necessarily him, I do like him and he has potential but I just think we could do better. It’s a gamble either way.

  • bertie basset says:

    that chap conk must be a sevco supporter , bernardo not for me , too leggy , gets in good positions but wastes his chances overall

  • Jimmy says:

    Too early James to look at it. You wrote a full piece on getting Bernardo signed after the sevco game. I agreed but he has done nothing since. At this stage he does not come near the price agreed. We need consistency which he hasn’t shown. Idah has done well but 3rd choice at Norwich and them wanting 6 million. They happilysell him. Not for me we should be setting the bar higher than Idah. If Kyogo kicks on he will be our starter each game.

  • Matt says:

    Theyre probably good players. I’d like to think we could sign better players than them. They will leave celtic with our best wishes.

  • SSMPM says:

    Bernardo hasn’t shown enough consistency or ability to invest £6m on him. Idah has impressed and shows a desire on the pitch that’s been missing since GG. He appears happy at the club. At what price though is going to be the question. If Norwich overprice him then that will be the end of that conversation.
    Hatate is a gem of a player and should be held onto at all costs. He’s here and should stay on merit. Energy and ability in bundles and a much higher quality than Bernado. Was arguably our player of the year season before his injuries. HH

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Hard men please to counteract the thuggery in football in this bloody football country please !

  • TheLurkinTim says:

    1st time I really watched Bernardo was when he came on as a sub, 1st game against Lazio…and not gonna lie…he was impressive…there is a player in there that’s worth a punt…not what his club wants tho

  • Johnny Green says:

    I agree that Bernardo is not worth the money that we are likely going to have to pay for him. There is something missing from his game, call it the ‘X’ factor, but for me he just comes up short on occasions. As regards Hatate, if he plays to his best he is a wonderful player, but again I find sometimes he loses focus and makes some bad passes in his own half. However, he is superior to Bernardo and we need his flair and ingenuity for the crucial games still to come. I’m not yet totally convinced about Idah either, time will tell, but again there are better players out there that we can get for the fee Norwich will probably demand.

  • Martin says:

    I’m not convinced we should (or even could) sign Idah. Mainly because we need a good star and him signing will stop us looking. But Bernardo….I’m 50/50 on. We will have to replace O’Riley this summer. Is Bernardo the answer?

    …maybe. There are likely better options out there but are we as a club identifying them?

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