Tying down key assets the norm now for Celtic

The news of Callum McGregor, Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda all signing long term contracts at the club seems to have lifted the atmosphere around Paradise in what has been a turbulent start to the summer for the football club.

The departures of Ange Postecoglou and Jota respectively left Celtic fans understandably disappointed, but in the wider context both outgoings are as a result of long-term planning from Celtic. After the arrival of Postecoglou, their seemed to be an immediate emphasis on giving incoming players long term deals.

Kristoffer Ajer of Brentford during the Premier League match between Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion at Brentford Community Stadium, on 11 September 2021. Photo: Carlton Myrie

This was an inevitable policy that Celtic would adopt after the failure of the 2020/21 season and the forced departures of Ryan Christie and Kristoffer Ajer who had both ran down their contracts resulting in them being sold below their market value.

January arrivals Yuki Kobayashi, Alistair Johnston and Oh-Hyeon Gyu are all examples of this strategy from the club, with all three tied down to for at least another four years.

Those who questioned whether the club would continue to operate in the same efficient manner as they done so when Postecoglou was in charge have been proven wrong.

Celtic are still looking in undervalued leagues for talented young players as seen in the summer signings of Odin Thiago Holm of Valerenga in the Norwegian top flight and Marco Tilio of Melbourne City in the A-League, and the club are now also continuing the policy of tying down key assets on long term deals with Kyogo Furuhashi, Dazien Maeda and Callum McGregor all tied down for at least another four years with the latter tied down for another five.

Giving players long term deals will always be a slight risk if the player doesn’t manage to succeed at the club, James McCarthy comes to mind.

Peter Lawwell, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Nicholson. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But when the club has a consistent recruitment strategy, along with a competent and ambitious CEO in Michael Nicholson, giving players long term contracts can reward the club significantly financially later down the line.

The huge windfalls received for the departures of Jota and Ange Postecoglou are the shining examples in this.

With the policy of giving long term contracts to players now firmly established within the vision of the club, the days of losing key assets for nothing or for well below their market value thankfully look to be gone.

James French

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