Celtic Entering Uncharted Waters Under Ange Postecoglou


Ange Postecoglou will shortly enter his fourth transfer window as Celtic manager. Yet in many ways it still feels like he’s just getting started at the club. Incredibly the Australian has signed twenty-two first team players since his arrival at the club in June 2021.

Ange Postecoglou stands with his new signing Liel Abada during the pre-season friendly match at Celtic Park, photo Andrew Milligan

That began with Liel Abada in July 2021 (a £3.4M switch from Maccabi Petah Tikva) and takes us right up to our latest recruit, Oliver Abildgaard, who joined in a complex deal from Russian’s Rubin Kazan at the end of the summer transfer window.

Of those twenty-two players we all know the standout performers and I don’t need to list them here. So many players hit the ground running for Ange in the 2021/22 season and his strike rate is quite remarkable.

Yosuke Ideguchi got a rare start on in the Sydney Super Cup match against Sydney FC

I’d go as far to argue that only four of his recruits have failed to make a notable impact at the club. Yosuke Ideguchi, James McCarthy, Liam Scales and young Johnny Kenny. You could of course argue just how much say Ange had on the signing of the latter three on that list.

Those aside, the aforementioned Abildgaard and back-up keeper Benjamin Seigrist have yet to prove their worth following their arrivals this summer so we’ll hang fire on judging those two for now.

So sixteen out of twenty-two that we’d deem a definite success. Not bad at all.

Entering New Territory

Ange has braced us for it with his comments at the time of the recent AGM but what we now face – whether in the January transfer window or the next – is the very real possibility of biding farewell to some of those sixteen players in the months ahead.

To stand still in this game is to move backwards and Postecoglou won’t allow anything to stand in the way of progress – no matter how reluctant some may be to lose any of our current stars.

Josip Juranovic, Liel Abada and Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrate after the 4-0 victory over theRangers at Celtic Park on September 03, 2022 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If you’re putting us on the spot I think the first two high profile exits will be Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Time will tell on that front but what we do know is that the club’s resolve will very likely be tested with offers for players of that ilk, as well as for Matt O’Riley, Jota and Reo Hatate.

The question is, how firm will Ange and the club stand when that day comes? With many of our stars contracted until 2026 and even 2027 (Jota, Hakšabanović, Bernabei) the ball is firmly in Celtic’s court.

The Cornerstones of Ange’s New Team

My opinion is that the next evolution of Celtic under Ange should be built on the following five players. Callum McGregor, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Jota.

Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Celtic FC and Shakhtar Donetsk,, on October 25, 2022.  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeping the wolves from the door is the first piece of this particular puzzle! Easier said than done of course, but that’s the challenge for Ange and the board if we want to continue on an upward trajectory.

Four of the five mentioned are contracted to the club until 2026, with Jota’s deal running until 2027. This places the club in an incredibly strong position and allows us to hold firm unless an extraordinary offer were to come in for any of these players.

Celtic FC coah Ange Postecoglou during the Sydney Super Cup match between Celtic and Everton at Accor Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

Michael Nicholson and the Celtic board have backed Ange wholeheartedly up until now. We expect that trend to continue as we enter 2023.

Who would you sell? Who would you keep? Join the debate in the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly as we discuss the next phase of our ongoing evolution under Ange.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify , Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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About Author

A child of the 80s, I have hazy memories of being at the Centenary Cup final at Hampden in May 1988 as we won the league & cup double, but then had to wait almost exactly a decade for our next league title as Wim Jansen & Co stopped the 10! I’m the founder and host of The Celtic Exchange podcast where we now produce several shows per week covering all things Celtic.

1 Comment

  1. We haven’t been great the five last games, and no matter what we say about our great football, whicH has been absent the last five games, we have scraped through those five games, some of our football has been really poor, and you actually need to score to win games and we didn’t do that against good teams, let’s see what happens, but I am a little concerned about the change in trajectory, not many guys now running all over the place to win the ball, including Hatate