Teemu Pukki to Celtic

September 3, 2013

Why it
makes sense

For the
club

They are refusing to waver from the signing policy and it’s hard not to respect them for that. Fans
called for millions to be piled back into the team after the sale of both
Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper. The board have so far resisted. It’s the smart
decision and highlights the extent to which Celtic are forward thinking players
in the British market place. Despite the heightened awareness of football
methods around Europe the majority of British
teams prefer to keep their off-field running classically British; the manager
buys the players and selects the players and the type of footballer they bring
in depends on the need there and now. Celtic have once again shown that they
are working under a more continental approach and continuously looking towards
the future with their purchases. It’s a harsh world for the Scottish champions;
their best players are going to be courted by teams in the English Premier
League. Rather than continually fighting a losing battle they go out and sign
players that are worth selling.

From a
tactical point of view, Pukki is a technically sound player who works his socks
off in any given match. Celtic’s Champions League group will call for a lot of
defensive, thankless work from front players and now they’ve just signed the
man to carry out those duties. He’s not a ruthless goalscorer but did net 13
goals in 25 league matches while back in his native Finland
with Helsinki
and could put up strong numbers with a top supporting cast in the Scottish
Premiership.

For the
player

Two reasons
are regular first team football and playing in the Champions League. He was set
to feature in the competition this year for Schalke so it is understandable
that any move away must provide him with the same opportunity. He was a back-up
striker throughout his time with Schalke so this switch will at least give him
a greater opportunity to be the recognised focal point of an attack.

Of course,
as with every Celtic signing, we have to mention the possibility of gaining a
move to the English top flight by excelling in Scotland. He’s spent time at
Sevilla and Schalke so he would have been on the radar of a few clubs, but
managers feel more comfortable bringing a player in from Celtic rather than from
a subs bench abroad. It makes them recognisable names with their fans and
board, and provides greater evidence that the player fits in a British style.

 

Why it
doesn’t

For the
player

He could
have stayed and fought for his place at Schalke. He certainly featured enough
over the last two seasons to indicate that he wasn’t too far from gaining a
regular spot in the first eleven. Moves within the Bundesliga could have been
another avenue which would have provided stronger opponents with which to test
himself and improve his game.

The signing
of Amido Balde and form of Anthony Stokes over the last few weeks would not
make his place in the team guaranteed at first. Should he fail to nail down a
regular spot he will likely be on the move again from what is already the fifth
stop in his 23-year old career. Although, in fairness, the four year contract
indicates Celtic are willing to wait for him to develop into the player they
think he can be.

For the
club

Celtic have
just lost a 30 goal a season striker. Instead of filling the position with a
like-for-like replacement they’ve merely brought in another forward to fill the
squad space; the conveyor belt isn’t aimed at replacing on the park but reproducing on the balance sheet. He’s a different player to Hooper and it
will take a tactical shuffle to insert him correctly into the line-up. It is
not what the fans had in mind when they were looking for their club to sign a
replacement. Their stubbornness to stick to the ‘moneyball’ plan is commendable
but when you are given £18million to spend on top of a reported £25million from
the previous year’s Champions League money you are expected to push the boat out
just a little.

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