The 2021/22 campaign is in the books and it has worked out fantastically for Celtic. Against all odds, they won a double, lifting the Premiership as well as the Scottish League Cup. And most of the things that the club have tried to do along the way has come off pretty well. That does not mean that eyebrows were raised at the time some of those decisions were made.
One such decision was the one to bring in three midfielders, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Matt O’Riley, in the January transfer window. Many felt that the Hoops did not need so many additions in the middle of the park with the likes of Callum McGregor, David Turnbull, Tom Rogic, Nir Bitton, Ismaila Soro and James McCarthy already at the club.
Now though, it has emerged that Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton will be leaving the club at the end of the season. On the other hand, Hatate and O’Riley have already made an impact on the first-team, while all three have gotten the time to adjust to their new surroundings.
As a result, Ange Postecoglou might have been a step ahead in bringing them in. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic manager said:
“People will eventually figure out that I’m always trying to think a step ahead. The reason we brought in three midfielders in January was because I knew the likely outcome at the end of the season.
“We wanted to be a step ahead in planning for these things [Bitton and Rogic going] so we’re not scrambling at the last minute.
“It’s about the future and that’s an area of the park we had to bolster. We still need to sign another midfielder but having signed the boys in January, it means they’re already bedded into our club. It gives us a head start.”
Postecoglou explains why Celtic signed three midfielders in January
The trio have produced mixed results till now. Hatate started brilliantly but has faded away since then. He has shown what he is capable of though and hopes are high for the future.
On the other hand, O’Riley, who was signed from League One side MK Dons, has been solid throughout and with Rogic leaving, could end up being the regular starter there from next season.
Ideguchi is the one who has not made much of an impact till now but he has shown glimpses of what he is capable of. And hopefully, he will start producing the goods from next season.
This article was originally posted here