Noel Whelan has been giving his thoughts to Football Insider on Celtic’s permanent moves for Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi.
The Lowdown: Long-term deals
The Hoops wasted no time in making a start on their winter business and announced a trio of moves for Hatate, Ideguchi and Daizen Maeda on New Year’s Eve.
Maeda arrived on an initial loan deal with a compulsory purchase option, whereas Celtic handed both Hatate and Ideguchi four-and-a-half-year contracts.
The Latest: Whelan’s comments
He admitted that it was a ‘surprise’ to see the length of the contracts and described it as a ‘really big show of faith’ from the Hoops, saying:
“Obviously Postecoglou has seen that over his time working in Japan. He has highlighted these three players as potential players that can do what has been done from the start of the season, which is that progression.
“They’re trusting in these players because you don’t see too many signing four-and-a-half-year contract these days. It’s usually three, two-and-a-half, add-ons etcetera.
“So this is a surprise and a really big show of faith in these players. They don’t need to worry about a thing. Four years, they’ve got that.
“They just need to progress and show Celtic fans that they’re good players and they’re lucky to have them for the four years.”
The Verdict: Shrewd move by Celtic
Celtic have ultimately covered their backs when it comes to the pair by giving them lengthy contracts, especially as they are both still in their 20s.
Should they impress in Glasgow, similar to Kyogo Furuhashi, then the Hoops will be under no pressure to sell over the coming years. Even if the new arrivals struggle in Scotland, you’d expect that, if they wanted to, the club could be able to get their money back due to the length of their deals.
Hopefully the Hoops can reap the rewards over the coming years, with their relatively low transfer fees giving Michael Nicholson the scope to hand out deals running to 2026.
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