In our Loan Watch feature, The Transfer Tavern takes a look at how Celtic defender Osaze Uroghide is faring during a short-term loan spell at KV Oostende.
Celtic paid just over £200,000 to sign Urhoghide from League One outfit Sheffield Wednesday last summer.
But he found opportunities hard to come by under Ange Postecoglou, with his one and only senior appearance coming in the dead-rubber Europa League game against Real Betis in December.
On Deadline Day, Celtic opted to loan him out to Jupiler Pro League outfit Oostende for the remainder of the season.
It took a couple of games, after the loan move had gone through before Yves Vanderhaeghe handed Urhoghide his debut.
That came in a 3-0 defeat against KV Mechelen, with Urhoghide substituted off at half time.
It was certainly an auspicious start, then, but the defender was perhaps played out of position at right midfield and he’s admirably put it behind him.
He completed the full 90 for the first time against Sint-Truiden on 26 February and hasn’t missed a minute of action since.
His strongest performance to date came against Anderlecht, the side who have been crowned Belgian champions more than anyone else.
He won nine out of 11 ground duels – a hugely impressive 82% – in addition to making five interceptions and even creating a chance from his centre-back berth.
That earned a SofaScore rating of 7.1/10, the second highest in the side.
Overall, he’s recorded nine successful aerial duels, eight clearances, 11 interceptions and nine tackles, whilst also demonstrating his comfort in possession by completing ten long passes and five dribbles (71%).
So, does Urhoghide potentially have a future at Celtic?
Well, under the loan agreement, Oostende will have the option to sign him permanently in the summer.
And if he can continue to impress Vanderhaeghe enough to hold down his place in the XI, then they will surely trigger it.
After all, he’s a player they’ve been following ‘for quite some time’, according to club president Gauthier Ganaye, and they ‘firmly believe in his talent’.
There are potentially clear parallels with Jack Hendry, who left Celtic for Oostende and then earned a move to Club Brugge, where’s he’s played six Champions League games this season and seen his Transfermarkt value climb to £5.4million (well above the £990k Celtic banked).
Celtic writer John McGinley has applauded the player’s hunger, suggesting that he’d ‘do anything for Ange Postecoglou‘, and perhaps he deserved more of a chance to show what he was capable of.
In other news, read this journalist’s claim on Cameron Carter-Vickers.
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