Ange Postecoglou delivers Celtic transfer update for January - Mark Lawwell, 'scour world brief', still value in Asia
The Australian believes that doing “business early” at the same time last year helped them kick on to reclaim the Premiership title, with Japanese trio Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi all signed by the beginning of January, while midfielder Matt O’Riley was in the building by the middle of the month. Hatate scored a brace for Celtic on February 2 in a key 3-0 win over Rangers, with O’Riley starting that match too, underlining how vital it was to have new additions settled into Scottish life.
Postecoglou envisages a similar strategy to last winter and says that he is helped by new head of recruitment Mark Lawwell having his feet under the table, with a brief “to scour the world”.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Fir Park against Motherwell, Postecoglou said: “We are well under way with our planning for January. It was really beneficial for us last year to do our business early in January. I think that helped us in the back half of the season. I think we are going to have to do something similar this January. Our strategy is already in place and hopefully it all comes together.”
Celtic bolstered their squad during the summer with the permanent additions of last season’s loanees Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers, plus the arrivals of Benjamin Siegrist, Alexandro Bernabei, Moritz Jenz, Aaron Mooy, Oliver Abdilgaard and Sead Haksabanovic . Postecoglou confirmed the club is using a blanket approach to finding new players.
“We are looking everywhere in terms of our recruitment,” continued the Celtic boss. “Mark Lawwell is in the building now and the reason I brought him in is that he knows what I am looking for. The brief is to scour the world for that. The Japanese and Asian market is one I am really familiar with and I still think there is value there for players, and I know how they would fit into what we do. But we signed Alexandro Bernabei from Argentina, so South America is also an area we are looking at.
“With Mark now working and knowing how we do things, we know exactly what we are looking for. There are some parameters financially that we have to work with but the key criteria is the kind of characters they are, and how they conduct themselves. Whether they are from Europe, Asia, South America or Africa, we factor that into any player we bring in.”