In the wake of Saturday’s demolition derby, there has been a lot of online speculation about the transfer fee that Celtic could fetch for Jota. The former Benfica winger has been on fire since joining the Hoops on a permanent basis, and with the transfer market increasingly getting more crazy then it is not unrealistic to think that he could eventually break the Scottish football transfer record. However, I find it bizarre that so many Celtic fans are salivating over the prospect of fetching £40 to £50m for the player.
I’ve always been of the mind that accountants should crunch the numbers and take pleasure from balance sheets – football fans should enjoy watching great footballers. I understand the reality of being in Scottish football and the inevitability that players will leave to go to richer leagues, but as fans should we not be hoping to see Jota thrill us for as long as possible?
We now have a complete squad for the first time in years. It is of such a level now that Celtic could realistically achieve something in Europe and break domestic records. Therefore, I want nothing more than to keep this team together and see that much coveted European progression come to fruition in the next year and beyond. Losing our best players and seeing numbers on a balance sheet does nothing for me, especially when a player of the same calibre can rarely be obtained with that money (see Kieran Tierney). And I certainly don’t want to get a big transfer fee just to brag about it to fans of a new club across the city, in what has become a weird yet meaningless battle of the fee.
If this new age thinking was around under Martin O’Neill would we have had fans wishing Larsson away to break transfer records and make the balance sheets look spectacular, rather than wanting to watch an outstanding talent play for us for as long as possible? Give me 7 years of the King and no sale over two seasons and £30m+ any day!
Let’s look to achieve something special by keeping a complete team together for a while. Saturday was a joy to watch, who knows what the Champions League campaign will bring.