Jerry the Pacemaker – ‘He’s very quick,’ says Brendan ‘he is dynamic and he gives us flexibility’

CELTIC’S new signing Jeremy Toljan, who arrived on deadline day in a loan deal from Borussia Dortmund, accepted a drop in wages in order to pull on the Hoops, Brendan Rodgers revealed at yesterday’s media conference at Lennoxtown.

“He is a player who has sacrificed his own wages and money to want to come here to play which shows a sign that he is hungry to get his career back on track again,” Brendan said.

“He recognises this is a big club which gives him the opportunity to do that.

“It is a great attitude to start with and I look forward to working with him.

“It says everything for me. It says everything in terms of wanting to get football and get playing.”

And Rodgers described the type of player Toljan is comparing the 24 year old to a right sided Kieran Tierney – high praise indeed.

“He is very quick, he is dynamic and he also gives us flexibility because he can play on both sides – he has played a lot for Dortmund on the left-hand side as well,” Brendan said.

“He brings that athleticism that I like players in my team to have to have. In the modern game, at the higher levels you have got to have to be able to defend the central areas, the middle, but also be able to get out and he has the pace to do that and get tight to people.

“He has a good profile – 6 foot, fast and dynamic. He gives us another dimension.”

And Toljan revealed that he’s been watching Celtic games on You Tube and the thrill of seeing the big European nights, such as our 2-1 win over Barcelona in November 2012, whetted his own appetite for some playing time in Paradise.

“I know Celtic are a big club with amazing fans and an amazing stadium,” Jerry said.

“I have seen highlights of European games so I think they are a big club who are known all over Europe.

“I remember one game in particular, when they played Barcelona. It’s a game that is stuck in my memory.”

Jerry also provided an outline in his first interview as a Celtic player, on what we can expect from him.

“I can play right back or left back,” he revealed. “I’m a quick, offensive player. I want to go forward and I also like to score goals so hopefully I can do that at Celtic,” Jerry said.

Asked about players that he admired in his youth, who have made a lasting impression on him, Jerry mentioned Phillip Lam as a role model.

“I didn’t really model myself on any particular player when I was younger.

“Of course, Phillip Lam was one of the best full backs of all time so he is a role model for guys like me, but I’m not trying to be him. I’m trying to be me.

“I think Celtic’s style suits me well. They play offensive football and score many goals so this could be a good match for me.”

Jerry also revealed that he had a good chat with The Celtic manager and also the (cough) football director.

“The coach is a big factor when you move to a club and I had good conversations with Brendan Rodgers,” Jerry said.

“I knew of him because he managed good clubs in the Premier League. We spoke on the phone and he told me what kind of club Celtic is and his idea of football and how he sees me helping the team,” the 24 year old said, in perfect English.

Jerry also had other options but thankfully Celtic was his number one choice.

“I had other options but the conversation was good and I decided to sign for Celtic.

“I have come here because I want playing time. It’s always frustrating when you are not playing so I hope I can get regular football with Celtic.

“I played quite a lot last season but we had a difficult season. The whole team did not do so well.

“So this season there has been more competition and the team has been doing a lot better and when that happens then it’s hard for the coach to change anything.

“He has chosen to play Łukasz Piszczek or Achraf Hakimi in that position so I decided that I needed to go on loan to get games.

“I like big games. I like to play at a high level in competitive games and I’m looking forward to doing that.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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

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