Two of Celtic’s last three signings under Brendan Rodgers have been 19 year-old midfielders, with Jonny Hayes of Aberdeen being the exception.
In January, Ivorian Eboue Kouassi arrived from Krasnodar in Russia, on a deal reported to be near the £3m mark and yesterday, the Hoops announced the imminent signing of Zimbabwean Kundai Benyu, another 19 year-old from Ipswich, in a move that will only involve a nominal development fee.
Both players signed four year deals, allowing the gaffer plenty time to get them into his way of thinking.
While Brendan and the fans are waiting patiently for the ‘marque’ signing to happen, it’s clear, having extended his own contract, the manager is putting in place plans for the future of the team.
Kouassi and Benyu had other options, from Europe and the Premier League, but chose to entrust Rodgers with their development. A clear sign of how highly rated he is with good young players.
The pressures of having to perform, and win at the same time, should stand the young Bhoys in good stead as they advance in their careers.
Good luck Bhoys.
Brendan Rodgers sent out a makeshift team to start the Hoops’ pre-season friendly with Blue White Linz in Austria yesterday, with the intention of giving the Bhoys a 45 minute stint to get their sharpness back.
Included in the starting line-up was new signing from Aberdeen, Jonny Hayes and ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ lookalike Gary Mackay-Steven, who was sporting just the head bandage of the Govan layabout, but not the string vest!
Questions had been asked as to why GMS was wearing a hat earlier in the week, when the temperatures were in the 30’sC, and everyone else was sweltering.
Apparently, he’s had some ‘work’ done on his head, possibly similar to the kind Leigh Griffiths and Anthony Stokes had last season.
And just to keep the Chewin’ The Fat theme going, Celtic’s only goal of the game came from second half substitute ‘Jamesy’ Forrest, who volleyed home from the edge of the box, with only minutes remaining.
Brendan also took the opportunity to give his son Anton, a wee run out, mainly to help him with his fitness and t give us more numbers in the middle of the park for this game.
Winning is a habit, and this team, regardless of who, or where we’re playing, just keep on going.
It’s almost as if the season never ended..,..
Today’s Champions League draw threw up a potential football time bomb with the prospect of Celtic having to play against Linfield in Belfast on the 12th July, Moussa Dembele’s birthday!
The time and date of the game will be arranged only if the team from the North beat San Marino minnows La Fiorita.
If the game does go ahead on the 11th or 12th of July, what kind of ‘welcome’ will the Scottish Treble winners receive from the home team.
Will it be the same kind of Windsor Park welcome Mark Warburton and his team received when they were ‘treated’ to a flute band giving it their sectarian best, ignoring the fact the visitors had several Catholics in their team?
And will they pose for photographs after the match, again like they did this time last year? And will they meet a side, as good as the one described by one of the Linfield officials as the ‘best Rangers side he’d ever seen’. I’m sure the official in question was called Stevie….
All joking aside. This is probably the worst draw Celtic could have wished for. We don’t want or need to be drawn into a Bigotfest to suit the loyalists who support Linfield.
The Police, maybe even UEFA, if they’ve any sense, will arrange the games so as to provoke as little reaction as possible.
It’ll be a powder keg regardless, so it’s really up to those responsible to diffuse it as soon as they can..
Celtic will host St Johnstone today at Celtic Park on the back of two of our easiest games of the season.
The Perth side will no doubt give us a harder game than Sevco did last week at Ibrokes or the week before at Hampden.
Tommy Wright will send out his team in their usual manner, by kicking everything in green and white from the get go.
The referee, who ever he is, will more than likely allow them to do so, for at least the first hour.
Celtic, who’ll be without influential captain Scott Brown, will of course win the game, and greeting face Tommy will try take the shine off our victory by moaning about a solitary decision, that may have gone against his team.
He’s got form for this already.
As per usual, the SMSM will jump to his defence and claim Celtic were lucky and seem to get all the big decisons.
In the meantime, Brendan’s Bhoys will march on to 43 domestic games undefeated, with only four more to go to become The Invincibles.
Good luck Bhoys!