Celtic have seemingly made few errors with regards to recruitment of late under manager Ange Postecoglou, although one move in the recent window that already appears something of a headscratcher is the signing of Danish midfielder, Oliver Abildgaard.
The 26-year-old had been the ninth and final signing of the recent window, joining on a season-long loan deal from Rubin Kazan, having been keen to seek a departure from the Russian outfit after two years with his parent club.
The addition of the 6 foot 4 menace had seemingly been in order to provide the Scottish champions with a more defensive-minded asset at the base of the midfield, with Postecoglou lauding his new addition’s towering stature as a bonus to a side that “would struggle to get on any rides at Disneyland” as a result of their diminutive status.
The one-cap powerhouse appeared to be a potential alternative to skipper Callum McGregor as that screen in front of the back four, with the club having seemingly been in need of a replacement for Nir Bitton, following the long-serving gem’s departure at the end of last season.
Fast forward a few months into the season, however, and it remains to be seen if Abildgaard will be able to make an impact at Parkhead, having thus far been restricted to a bit-part role for the Scottish Premiership side.
After missing the early weeks of the campaign in order to adequately get up to speed, the £6.3m-rated dud has since made just four appearances in all competitions to date, with all of those outings having come from the substitutes’ bench.
The on-loan giant’s most notable display came during the Champions League defeat away to RB Leipzig a few weeks ago following the injury to the aforementioned McGregor inside the first half, with the one-time Aalborg man ultimately impressing with a solid showing in that encounter.
Even after that encouraging performance, however, the Hasseris-born brute has since been unable to secure a more prominent role in the side of late, despite the club captain set to be ruled out until after the upcoming World Cup.
That absence has instead seen Matt O’Riley take on a deeper role in recent games, with the 21-year-old looking particularly impressive in that berth during the loss to Leipzig at Parkhead in midweek.
If Abildgaard is unable to gain a starting berth when McGregor is unavailable, it appears hard to see the loanee being able to force his way into Postecoglou’s plans once the academy graduate returns, with the Dane’s signing already appearing a potential mistake.
Such are his current woes that pundit Barry Ferguson had even tipped James McCarthy – who had been linked with an exit over the summer – for a start against the Bundesliga side in midweek, with the Republic of Ireland international having recently played his part in the dramatic victory over St Johnstone, after winning the ball in the build-up to that late goal.
It may well be wise to put more faith in the 31-year-old – who still has just under three years left on his existing deal – ahead of the anonymous Abildgaard, with any potential permanent move for the latter man next summer likely out of the question at present. Indeed, it would not be a surprise that come the end of his loan spell, he is ruthlessly ditched by Postecoglou.