“Certainly, there is an urgency in a couple of positions with this game coming up in a couple of weeks’ time,” Ange Postecoglou said in his first presser as Celtic boss.
On Friday afternoon after exiting quarantine, Ange Postecoglou faced the Scottish media for the first time.
The new man in charge at Parkhead had to answer some tough questions but he did it in a remarkable open and calm way which impressed even the most pessimistic fans.
When asked about the possibility of new signings, he said it’s a challenge in the current circumstances.
“Look, we’re working hard, and it’s a challenging time all around the world in terms of signing players and the ability to even watch players,” he said.
“But the club’s working awfully hard, I’m pushing them as hard as I can and we’re hoping we can make some announcements very, very soon.”
Who could they target?
Since Postecoglou was unveiled as the new manager at the start of June, all sorts of news started popping up around Australia about the possibility of him bringing some fellow countrymen with him to Celtic Park
With Tom Rogic already at the club, the giants from Glasgow have also been linked with the likes of Matt Ryan (Brighton), Aaron Mooy (Shanghai), Riley McGree (Birmingham), and even Burundi-born winger Elvis Kamsoba (Melbourne Victory).
With deals for Kamsoba and McGree looking highly unlikely, due to a number of reasons, Ryan and Mooy remain the only two realistic options.
The Hoops are in desperate need of reinforcements in both the goalkeeper and midfield departments and could do with the signing of two experienced internationals.
How will they fit in?
With Mat Ryan being closely followed by Arsenal, it could be a tough job for Ange to persuade him to join, but if he does the Socceroos goalie will definitely make the number one shirt his own.
Celtic didn’t really have a first-choice keeper during the 20/21 season with Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, and Conor Hazard, all getting a run between the sticks but none of them really convincing that they were the long-term solution.
Ryan, who has a great European pedigree, having played for the likes of Valencia, Arsenal, Brighton, Club Brugge, and Genk, has worked with Postecoglou before and should be familiar with the 55-year-old’s style of play.
The Plumpton-born keeper has only a year left on his current deal and should be available for a fairly low fee during the summer transfer window.
Midfield is another area in which Celtic will look to strengthen and the signing of Mooy could be a great start.
Scott Brown has already left the team, Olivier Ntcham is on the verge of joining AEK Athens, and Ryan Christie has shown his desire to move away from the club.
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Despite the fact that Mooy is a very different player to all of the mentioned, he could still fit in well in a three-man midfield or even a double six, depending on what formation Ange chooses to start his tenure with.
It is a difficult task to predict what formation Postecoglou is going to deploy, but with Callum McGregor and David Turnbull set to stay in Glasgow, Mooy could be the missing piece in the middle of a 4-3-3.
A very attacking midfield on paper but it could potentially work really well against lesser-quality teams from the SPL which tend to play a very low block versus Celtic.
Another formation in which Mooy could thrive is the 4-4-2 diamond that Ange occasionally used during his time with the Australian NT.
Liam Shaw who was recently signed from Sheffield Wednesday is capable of playing as the number six in a diamond.
This means that Mooy could move a bit wider as one of the flanking midfielders, which will give him more freedom to create.
The Sydney-born midfielder is a player that you can build a team around and one that can be a game-changer at this level, week in and week out.
Both transfers seem like a match made in heaven but as always there are factors that could force Celtic to look elsewhere.
For example, Aaron Mooy’s wage, which is a lot higher than Celtic’s current highest earners, or the fact that Mat Ryan is a lifelong Arsenal fan and could prefer another go at the Gunners number one shirt.
Either way, Ange’s move to Glasgow remains one of the biggest achievements in Australian football and will definitely pave way for other Australians, especially if he ends up being a success in Scotland.