Ange Postecoglou feared Oh Celtic deal would collapse as he explains Giakoumakis and Jenz situations

Ange Postecoglou during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown ahead of facing Dundee United.Ange Postecoglou during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown ahead of facing Dundee United.
Ange Postecoglou during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown ahead of facing Dundee United.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is excited about the potential of Oh Hyeon-gyu and backed his new striker to make an immediate impact.

The 21-year-old could feature in Sunday’s cinch Premiership contest against Dundee United at Tannadice after completing his move from Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday. Postecoglou feared the deal might not go through after Oh’s goalscoring form and his selection for South Korea’s World Cup squad made Suwon more difficult to persuade but the persistence of the player and club paid off.

“He is only a young guy but he is really mature and really determined to make an impact, as seen by the way he has tackled his career so far,” Postecoglou said. “He has made some real strong choices, he has done his military service, he worked hard to keep his team up last year, he made the national team squad and made a decision to try and crack it over here. I knew straight after I got off the call to him that he was exactly the right type for us.

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“For him it wasn’t about driving the best deal for himself. I’m not sure his agent would have been too happy with him but he just wanted to come to Celtic. It didn’t matter what the deal was, he just wanted to come and play for us. As a manager that excites you because those are the kind of players and people you want in the building.

“He is only 21 but he has a real physical presence. He moves well and loves to get involved in all aspects of the game. People will know I love my strikers to work hard defensively and he certainly does that, but he also has a presence to link up and in the penalty box both aerially and on the ground. I am really excited about his potential. We have to remember he his only 21 and still relatively inexperienced but, looking at what he has already done in his career and the way he has gone about it, I reckon he will be a quick learner. I think he can contribute straight away for us.

“He has been training and been doing a pre-season with his club over the past two or three weeks but he hasn’t had a game since November. And it’s a big week for him, the travel and the whole signing process physically and emotionally. So we will just see how it goes. I am keen to get him involved as soon as possible so we will see if that’s this weekend or midweek.”

Oh is Celtic’s fourth January signing but Postecoglou would not confirm it was the last. “I could say yes but then it would be boring over the next few days for all of us,” he said. “So I will just say we will stay agile and see what happens and get asked these questions again at the weekend. There is still some potential movement, more likely out than in.”

The future of Giorgos Giakoumakis remains uncertain and he might have played his last game for Celtic even if he is still at the club by the time Sunday’s game comes around. “There is still a fair bit of speculation around him and until something gets resolved, either way, then from my perspective it’s about seeing how he is training and how he is feeling about things,” Postecoglou said. “Again we will assess it for the weekend.”

Postecoglou also explained why he had allowed Moritz Jenz to cut short a season-long loan from Lorient in order to join Schalke. “I was keen to bring Yuki Kobayashi in, who is a left-sided centre-back, and that came to fruition, so then it became a discussion about what’s best for Moritz,” he said. “I thought the best opportunity for him to continue his career trajectory was to seek career opportunities elsewhere and he has found one which is great for him. “He got significant game time here including Champions League, he developed and contributed but for both parties it was a good time to look for different opportunities.”