Medical passed, four year deal agreed, Celtic collect just over £200k

Vata the latest youth player to leave. Questions are rightly being asked as to why we don’t give homegrown talent a chance…

Celtic v Motherwell –  Rocco Vata during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park on Saturday April 22, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

With Rocco Vata becoming the latest in a line youth prospects to leave the club, after he agreed a four year contract with Watford, with the Championship club having another year option included in the deal. The 19 year-old Celtic Academy graduate passed his medical yesterday and all that remains from Celtic’s point of view is to collect the few hundred grand development fee for a decade of coaching.

This raises several questions as to what is going on regarding our structure at grassroots level. Several youngsters with huge potential have left in the last few years going either down south or further afield in the continent.

Ben Doak with the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group E football match between Toulouse FC  and Liverpool at the Stadium de Toulouse on November 9, 2023. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Talent such as Liam Morrison, Ben Doak and Aiden Borland and Barry Hepburn have declined to further their football education in Glasgow, deciding they would be better developing elsewhere, perhaps believing that first team football was more likely at the likes of Bayern Munich or Liverpool, rather than Celtic. Go figure.

That’s something that must be rectified if we want to produce more first team ready homegrown talent. We don’t know if boys like the ones mentioned would have cracked the first team although Ben Doak did make his first team debut at 16 and even played in a Glasgow Derby, but it’s hard to judge their ability if they don’t hang around to develop ever further.

Rocco Vata made a few first team appearances and showed decent potential, but the brutal truth is that he wasn’t ultimately good enough to cement a starting place in the first team as has been the case with many youngsters these past few years.

Stuart Knight of Buckie Thistle saves from Rocco Vata of Celtic during the the Celtic v Buckie Thistle – Scottish Cup match at Celtic Park on January 21, 2024 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The challenge though is getting more youngsters through the ranks where they are in a position to challenge for the first team. Daniel Kelly whose future is also currently undecided is presently trying his hardest to achieve just that, but we need more homegrown players good enough to challenge for the first team.

The likes of Callum McGregor, James Forrest and Kieran Tierney are few and far between. We need to not only start producing quality homegrown talent, but persuading them to stay and flourish at the club and we need to ensure that we have a pathway to the first team for the best of our young talent. With the five substitutes rule there’s no real risk in giving youth a chance.

Best of luck to young Rocco.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. We can’t ‘make them stay and flourish at the club’ if the coaches are pish because nepotism rules and they don’t even get a chance to develop while playing in the ridiculously poxy Lowland League.

    What’s the fucking point of even having an academy when the club’s being run like an amateur outfit fae Cumbernauld?

    Fair play fir correcting yer Pennies & Pounds error earlier AND publishing my comments.

    It’s a strong mhan that knows how to admit when he’s wrong.

    Unlike some other Celtic bloggers I won’t bother to mention.