“This isn’t a gamble for Ange Postecoglou,” Billy Reid

The signing of Aaron Mooy as a free agent has garnered mixed reviews amongst the Celtic faithful it’s fair to say. The Aussie has been brought in to the club to help beef up the midfield area and provide cover and rotation if and when required. Boasting an embarrassment of experience in the game at the top level, Mooy undoubtedly will add that extra something to the squad in both an attacking and defensive sense.

One man who has heard of the disgruntled voices within the Celtic fanbase is his old coach at Brighton, Billy Reid. Reid, who was formerly the head coach of Hamilton Academical in the Scottish League, has assuaged any fears that might be brewing throughout the support and has insisted the Hoops have snared themselves a gem.

Aaron Mooy of Australia celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifier match between Oman and Australia at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on February 01, 2022 in Muscat, Oman. (Photo by Adil Al Naimi/Getty Images)

He said as reported by Daily Record: “The manager obviously knows him from his time with the Australia national team, so he’ll have first hand knowledge of Aaron’s character and what he can bring to the team – on both of those fronts there will be nothing to worry about. He’s a model professional, hard-working and dedicated and on top of that, he’s a really good player.

“We took him on loan from Huddersfield and he did really well for us before signing permanently. Then he got a big move, financially, to China and to be honest we were disappointed to lose him because he was in our starting 11 at the time and doing great for us.

“He’s a quiet lad, who just gets on with his business without making any real fuss and he is like that on the field as well. But he’s a really effective football player without having to be overly flamboyant. He’s really good on the ball, is willing and able to take it in tight areas and can play off both feet. He uses his body really well and spins out of tight situations.

“I also think he might surprise people by chipping in with a few goals. He’s capable of hitting from distance and getting in the box and is easily capable of scoring six, eight, ten goals a season. He’s a strong boy as well. That’s crucial in the English Premier League and Aaron more than held his own in that regard.”

With worries aplenty that we have potentially signed another player similar to James McCarthy in the midfield area that has struggled to adapt to Ange’s style and system, Reid scoffed at such an idea.

He explained: “The supporters liked him down here. His ball retention was excellent and he’s a proper all-round footballer He’s not the quickest player getting about the pitch but he’s got a really good football brain and outstanding positional sense that compensates for that. I think he’ll fit into Celtic’s ethos really well and the manager will know what’s getting. They are a team that enjoys the massive share of possession in most matches, so that will suit his style because he’s so good with the ball at his feet.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 27: Aaron Mooy of Australia controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 AFC Asian Qualifier match between Australia Socceroos and Vietnam at AAMI Park on January 27, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“If he was going to a team that hardly had any of the ball and was having to chase and close down the opposition, it might be slightly different but Celtic will suit him down to the ground. This isn’t a gamble for Ange Postecoglou. He’s getting a player that he won’t have to get to know and understand. He’s getting experience and a proven international who is going to the World Cup. It makes sense in every respect.”

Graham Potter’s assistant also revealed the added bonus is Mooy’s previous stint in Scotland, the relationship he already has with Ange, and his wife being a native as the cherry on top of this fantastic deal.

He added: “Scotland is well known to Aaron, which is also a real bonus,” he said. “He had that spell with St Mirren early in his career, so it’s not as if he will come to Celtic thinking it will be a stroll in the park for him. It’s fair to say that some players have come up to Scotland maybe thinking it will be easy – then finding out to their cost it is anything but easy – but Aaron won’t be thinking like that.

“The Scottish Premiership is much maligned at times but I’m always telling people down here that it isn’t easy. I’m sure Aaron doesn’t need to be that because he’s played in it. “And away from the pitch, he’s married to a Scottish girl, so it will be like coming home in that respect. It’s so important to feel settled when you join a new club and that will help him massively. Like everybody else, he won’t be guaranteed his place in the team and will have to fight for it, but he’s more than capable of doing that.”

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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