Chris Sutton on the Celtic deal that has to be concluded

Chris Sutton, with his inside knowledge of Norwich City, failed to provide Adam Idah with a positive endorsement when he arrived at Celtic on loan from the Championship side early in February.

Alongside Nicolas Kuhn, the £3m signing from Rapid Vienna, Idah was one of two winter window signings and it’s fair to say that the Celtic support was also looking for much more.

Idah was struggling for game-time at Norwich and was even the target of some of the Carrow Road whipping boys, goals were hard to come by and there was a realisation that a loan move would suit all parties.

Idah’s lucky changed when Brendan Rodgers, who remembered Idah from his time at Leicester City, nudged the Celtic board to sign a player in his direction, but frustratingly, maybe because of it all happening in the closing days of the transfer window, no option to buy was arranged.

The Irish international came off the bench at Pittodrie, setting up fellow new arrival Kuhn to grab a Celtic equaliser on the day the Celtic Bhoys displayed the On Your Heads By It banner aimed at the Celtic Board

His last goal involvement was to coolly dispatch the 90th minute rebound at Hampden in the Scottish Cup final on 25 May against theRangers and since then every Celtic supporter has been anxious to get the deal done with Norwich City to bring Idah back to Glasgow.

That too is the player’s preference, so while Chris Sutton is happy put his one hands up to admit that Rodgers got it right and he got it wrong as far as how Idah would perform as a Celtic player, his is also insistent that the Celtic Board must get the deal done. Norwich City too, according to their former player, has to be realistic too and realise where Idah was with them prior to his loan move to Celtic.

Adam Idah wants to play for Celtic in the Champions League, not Norwich City in the Championship and there’s little to be gained by frustrating that desire.

Writing in his weekly column in Daily Record, Chris Sutton reviewed the situation that has developed and has plenty of advice for two of his former clubs, which both should heed. Even if Sutton called it wrong at the start of the year.

“Adam Idah has already proven his worth to Celtic. That has its own value in terms of Brendan Rodgers and the squad. It’s why this deal needs to be sealed. Idah came up trumps for Celtic last season at the time when he was really needed,” Sutton said.

“Credit to Rodgers. I wasn’t sure the striker would be able to deliver in the manner that he did, but he proved himself adept and the manager was correct. It wasn’t just the goals Idah scored, it was the importance of them. Big strikes at key times. The last-minute penalty at Hibs and goal at Motherwell were pivotal in the title race and kept Celtic going forward,” the former Celtic striker stated.

“The opener at Kilmarnock on title-clinching night then top it all off, the winner in the last minute of a Scottish Cup final against Rangers. Now I’m not saying Celtic should just bow to Norwich’s every whim here. Negotiations are always delicate and there is give and take in any deal.

“Norwich have to be realistic. Idah had lost his way there. He even said he didn’t feel wanted, so who’s to say that, despite getting the confidence boost from his efforts in Glasgow, he wouldn’t return to being a bit part player in the Championship?” Sutton asked.

“Celtic also have to be realistic and know that here is a guy who has proven himself. It’s not always easy for players to settle into the club with the demands and expectations. Better players than Idah have gone into that environment and not been able to deliver for whatever reason. The fact Idah has shown he can do it means there was always going to be a couple of quid added to the fee.

“It would be daft of Norwich not to push up their demands because they are aware that Celtic are getting a proven performer into their ranks. So, as with most deals, both parties are going to have to give a little to get it over the line. But the facts are it has to be done. When Rodgers comes out immediately after the Scottish Cup Final and says he wants it done for the next season, the onus is on the board to do it,” Sutton said.

“To be honest, with the future of Oh Hyeon-gyu appearing to lie elsewhere given the interest shown in him and his drop down the pecking order when Idah arrived, it’s crucial. Celtic may have to shell out a little more than they would like to get it over the line. but Idah is no project now. He has shown he is the real deal and that’s why, even if they have to go a little further in the spend, it’s a deal that has to be concluded.”

Sutton is right and everything points to a deal being sorted and hopefully Idah is on the plane for the three pre-season games in the States.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. I would expect the Idah deal to be concluded before the trip to the USA, especially as serious questions would be asked if it failed to be finalised imo?
    Yet Idah, might be regarded as the last piece of the jigsaw for the USA trip, with 5 wide players and 2 central strikers available to ourselves.
    The same options that were available to ourselves at the end of last season.
    Somehow, I still don’t think that the same attacking options that finished last season, and potentially for the USA trip, will be the same that will be in place by the time the transfer window closes imo?
    I actually think Idah is far more suited to the type of attacking football that Rodgers is intending to introduce to ourselves, moreso than kyogo imo?
    So could Idah now start to become our lead striker ahead of kyogo for the starting role next season?
    Personally like the idea of having 2 completely different types of central strikers, yet it remains unclear as to whether that will remain within the plans of Rodgers for next season?
    To get the best from 2 completely different types of strikers, potentially involves making changes to our build up play also, and could mean making such changes within games?
    Think it took far longer than expected for our attacking players to get up to speed with the adjustments that Rodgers was trying to introduce into the team?
    Idah seemed to fit in far easier than kyogo and Oh managed to do so also imo?
    Still remain unconvinced that kyogo is a Rodgers type of striker, especially as the link up play within kyogo game is hardly his strongest suit as a striker?
    More of wanting to play off the shoulder of the last defender and exploiting the space with great speed and movement?
    Yet to many teams within the SPFL are dropping into the low block in order to eliminate the space available for kyogo, and hardly helped with the changes introduced into our build up play also,, hence less service for kyogo to thrive upon?
    We got glimpses of what Rodgers was looking for from kyogo, with 2 great goals against the scum in the 1st half of the season, along with 2 very well taken goals within the CL also?
    Even though we got a decent return of goals from kyogo last season, we still had many games where he wasn’t involved within games whatsoever?
    Thinking that the USA trip might make things far clearer as to how Rodgers intends ourselves to be as an attacking force next season, especially against the opposition we are going to be facing with CL in mind?
    Wouldn’t regard our current attacking options as totally completed to Rodgers liking at present imo?
    So wouldn’t be surprised to potentially see a couple of changes being made before the window shuts within our 25man squad for next season?
    Wouldn’t class our attacking options with the inclusion of Idah, as an area of great importance to ourselves currently, especially when other areas within the squad need far more attention and places to be filled still?

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