By now you will probably have heard about half a dozen or so names that are heavily linked with moves to Scottish football .
When you analyse the transfer targets and their profile , you should be able to gleam a bit of a strategy from the known knowns , and thus sense what course clubs have elected to take ,, roughly anyway ,, so here goes my take .
We , soo far ,, are in for a punt and a player .
The punt , Bayo , is a 21 year old Ivory Coast international , twice capped , who has came good this season in the Slovakian league . Under normal circumstances he might join as 4th choice maybe even 3rd choice striker , train for a few months to get up to speed , and then be accessed if he is first team ready .
As we basically have no strikers he would go straight in . Im not gonna say thats a lot of pressure on his shoulders , Im gonna say hes in a fantastic position to hit the ground running and immediately impress . However the potential is there for a run in the side to be fruitless also , and after reading someone that knows him say hes emotional thus his red card this season , plus he isnt polished , more a street footballer , I would be worried him becoming an instant starter for the Hoops and flopping could embarrass and cost everyone a lot.
Therefore I am HOPING that this is just a punt we felt we couldnt say no to , and not the solution at all .
And at the price range , it will take roughly 2 million to get him , I think its safe enough to take that view ,, that he will be a promising sidekick to the main man , yet to come .
The player though , Belgian International Castagne 23 years old , has the type of profile that makes me drool . Belgian footie has risen big time , and to break into the international squad is a feat . Experience in the tactical Serie A is another major feather in his cap , and it seems Lazio are willing to do business . The 6.7 million fee being bandied around shows we are shopping in the better end of our market , and that tends to provide more hits than misses , exactly what we need right now . At the time of writing numerous sports desks are stating the Celts may walk away after a last minute fee hike , asking as much as 10 million .
The same press reported we paid 10 million for a player before , Odsonne Edouard , so Im not sure I follow their logic here . We arent priced out then , we have the money in the bank , we could offer the asking amount if we wanted to ,, this simply boils down to how much do we want him ! We will find out very shortly .
And then his position , right back. We have traditionally played with attacking full backs , so you need a good engine , and not just be able to defend . At his age we could cover that position long term , 3 to 4 years before he gets moved on presumably at a profit .
Its also an admission that Mik will be gone for sure , will not be signing any new contract offer or anything and is heading for pastures new . . We wouldnt be looking at spending that wedge and the wages that would accompany it should Mik be staying .
I for one am glad he’s moving on , that side has needed attention for a couple years and he has held it down well enough for 7 years or so . I always felt he was decent at both ends , not great at either attacking or defending , just a solid enough player with a good attitude .
Replacing the right back with quality would be a real real shot in the arm for defending that title.
Mik would also benefit with not playing every game and when he is called upon will be fresh and give it all . Im lovin the idea of someone new in that berth , and along with KT , that would be the fullbacks sorted .
Bigger news though was the possible outgoings ,, with Benfica stating they want Boyata now not the summer , and our Captain being asked to move to Oz in the summer by all accounts .
Either leaving would be a blow but we only want committed players right ? .
Scott,, on the pitch , we can and have done well without him recently although I subscribe to the horses for course theory that he is best suited for certain games , the more physical ones for instance . We have no idea how much of a galvanising influence Scott Brown is in the dressing room though , so cant state it would have an adverse impact with certainty .
But knowing that he has a two year deal on the table which would potentially see him the man to captain the team to the fabled 10 , and watching him turn that down , that might set a couple of alarm bells ringing in the dressing room . Then again , he might honestly want some sun and a less physical league and I can attest its a better lifestyle in case you didnt already know that .
This has the feeling of a bit of a heartbreaker , this decision . I can honestly see him thinking he would kick himself if he missed out on either one . All I can say is , glad its not my call as I would be torn indeed ! Should he depart then I think its obvious KT would become captain , and he deserves it , but I just feel every hammer thrower in the game would attempt to kick him out of Scotland . I would fear for him captaining us towards any ten . Really fear as in John Kennedy fear .
Benfica may well see a bargain here in Dedryck , and perhaps see themselves as a bigger fish than us , and fancy a bit of bullying to help take the guy they covet . Saying we will let you leave when we replace you wont help here as theres no guarantee that any new player will hit the ground running.
Im afraid we just have to bite the bullet on him and lose him for free at the end of the campaign . He will play the rest of the campaign and not throw a strop and sit on the sidelines , we know this now , and thats what we must ask him to do . I think he will understand and he will be in a very strong position come the summer . Brendan , just do whats best for the team not the balance sheet .
Across the city the direction is crystal clear . Get in veterans who wont cost anything or much at all but offer them decent dough to entice . The names are good players , and will help them bigtime , especially should Defoe land , who will score plenty , and they already have the leagues top scorer . Its clear that they are in the here and now , looking at this season and maybe next while they age of our potential buys tell you we are going the opposite direction .
They smell blood and will push the boat out . We must be ready for this , up for the fight .
Should Stevie get those players they will improve no doubt about it and we will need to step up a gear to retain the title . With the Mib’s also we must be ready to fight for everything we earn .
This is going to be some scrap by the looks of things .
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