We’ve already reported on Ange Postecoglou’s comments specifically about Liam Scales’ situation at Celtic amid Aberdeen interest in making his time at Aberdeen permanent with an approach to Celtic already in the pipeline. The Celtic manager gave his thoughts on that and widened the issue to explain what will be happening and when in regard to the ten players who will be coming back to Celtic this summer looking for their future’s to be sorted out.
READ THIS…Celtic’s Loan Bhoys: “The guys will all need some sort of clarity moving forward,” Ange Postecoglou
The Celtic manager will set out to do what is best for both the club and the player and you would expect that this will all have to wait until after the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle is out of the way.
Lets’ have a look at who will be coming back to Celtic at the end of the season and there chances of having a viable longer term future as part of Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the coming season. The list of Celtic players out on loan includes the following players…
1. Vasilis Barkas – on loan at FC Utrecht, his family are Dutch and he would like to remain at the Dutch side if a deal can be brokered with Celtic. Barkas is Celtic’s record signing for a goalkeeper and the club will be looking at recovering at least some of the £5m paid to AEK Athens. If any of that figure is performance related then it almost certain that the sum paid to the Greek outfit will have been lower. Barkas, most folk believe, has absolutely no chance of making the Celtic first team.
2. Tobi Oluwayemi – Highly regarded young keeper who has been getting match day experience with Cork City. Would be a surprise if he was surplus to requirements at this stage. No for the future though.
3. Osaze Urhoghide – The big defender has been on loan at Belgian side KV Oostende, who are unlikely to want to pay much in transfer fees for any player really. Celtic might prefer to cut their losses if it’s possible, Urhoghide is a decent defender though so should have a promising career ahead of him.
4. Ewan Otoo – On loan at Dunfermline and unlikely to be given a chance with the Celtic first team next season.
5. Adam Montgomery – Has enjoyed a decent season in a St Johnstone side that has struggled once again after their incredible success becoming the most successful club in Scottish football in the Covid season. Has he improved enough to merit a place in Celtic’s squad next season, perhaps as a back-up full back? That’s a tough call for Ange and his coaching staff.
6. Ismaila Soro – Highly regarded when he arrived at Celtic, touted as Scott Brown’s replacement in the heart of the Celtic midfield. It’s not really going to happen for Soro at Celtic and he was given his chance to impress by Ange Postecoglou. He’s played his football this season on loan at Portuguese side FC Arouca and Celtic won’t be hard to deal with if they want to make that a permanent move.
7. Liam Shaw – Arrived as part of a double signing from Sheffield Wednesday alongside Osaze Urhoghide but it hasn’t worked out for either player. Liam Shaw had a loan spell at Motherwell last season and has been playing for Morecambe this year in the lower leagues in England. Not much chance of any future at Celtic.
8. Yosuke Ideguchi – The first Ange Postecoglou signing to get a mention. Arrived alongside Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate early in the January 2022 transfer window, then got injured by some thug playing in the Scottish Cup at Alloa later that month. Never recovered from that really and has been back in Japan on loan at Avispa Fukuoka with that deal running through to 31 January 2024. Unfortunately we won’t get the chance to see if Ideguchi would have made a name for himself at Celtic, just like Kyogo, Hatate and Maeda.
9. Mikey Johnston – He’s done well over in Portugal at Vitoria SC where he has been getting the much needed games-time after an horrendous time at Celtic with injury problems. Mikey’s ability has never been in doubt but its fitness, the physical demands of the game and securing the necessary game-time that is the concern. There’s a theory he could be a ready made replacement for Liel Abada in the squad if the Israeli was the subject of a big money bid. Last week Abada was talking up staying at Celtic so that could be a factor in the decision that’s reached regarding Mike, who is now an international player with Ireland.
10. Johnny Kenny – The Irish striker has been out on loan with Shamrock Rovers. Impressed in the first pre-season friendly last season, scoring one and almost another that was pinched by Albian Ajeti! Maybe not yet quite at the level Celtic require but another loan season could push the ultimate decision down the road and give the player a chance to make his claim.
11. Albian Ajeti – Anyone remember that smug tweet the club put out at the close of the Summer 2020 transfer window? How did that work out? For Albian Ajeti, a £5m signing from West Ham, not very well. He’s been on loan back in Austria with SK Sturm Graz and their chairman has been making encouraging noises about wanting to sign the striker. He’s unlikely to get much football at Celtic under Ange Postecoglou.
12. Conor Hazard – His saves in that dramatic penalty shoot-out in the Scottish Cup Final in December 2020 at an empty Hampden went a very long way to securing a Quadruple Treble for Celtic and has had various loan spells with Scottish clubs as well as a very successful time in Finland with HJK Helsinki where he helped them with the Veikkausliiga title in 2022. The Northern Ireland international goalkeeper returned to Celtic and rejected the chance to go back out on loan in January and has been seen on match day as part of the warn up staff for established first pick Joe Hart. Unlikely that he’ll want to hang around beyond the summer but he’s always going to be remembered for that day at Hampden.
Here’s Ange Postecoglou’s take on when and how decisions on these loan players will be taken, each one being for the benefit of both the player and the club.
“We’ll wait until the summer. But those decisions will be made at the end of the year. The guys will all need some sort of clarity moving forward. We will look at them all on an individual basis. We’ll get to that when the time is right.”