Celtic have become masters of finding hidden gems on the cheap during Ange Postecoglou’s spell in charge, with the likes of Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Josip Juranovic – among others – having all been brought in for relative bargain fees.
The title-winning coach isn’t the only Hoops boss to have showcased a knack for making astute deals, however, with his predecessor Neil Lennon having also done so on occasion, albeit most notably during his first spell in charge.
The Northern Irishman was at the helm when the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama were signed for what proved to be nominal fees, although arguably one of his more unsung additions was that of playmaker, Kris Commons.
The Parkhead outfit had reportedly fended off rival interest from Old Firm foes Rangers to land the then-Derby County gem in January 2011, with the former Scotland international joining for a reported fee of just £300k, having scored 13 goals in just 26 Championship games for the Rams in the early months of the season.
Also formerly of Nottingham Forest and Stoke City, the Mansfield-born star made an instant impact in his new surroundings having scored a delightful lob on debut in a League Cup triumph over Aberdeen, setting the tone for what would be a stunning few seasons in Glasgow.
The now-retired ace scored 11 goals and provided four assists in just 14 games in the tail end of that 2010/11 campaign, before providing a further 13 goal involvements in all competitions the following season, albeit while scoring just once in a win over the Gers.
After that somewhat difficult 2011/12 season, the “wonderful” talent – as dubbed by Lennon – truly kicked into gear the year after, recording 35 goal contributions in just 46 games across all fronts from his attacking midfield berth.
The 5 foot 6 wizard seemingly had a rare gift for being able to make the difference in the final third, with that best illustrated by his form during the 2013/14 campaign as he registered 31 goals and 14 assists in 48 games in all competitions, including 26 goals and 11 assists in just 34 league games.
That prolific form ultimately saw the 12-cap gem unsurprisingly named the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year, with Lennon having lauded him as a “dynamite” asset that term, while also comparing him to cult hero, Lubo Moravcik.
The arrival of Ronny Deila in the dugout in 2014 ultimately saw his role somewhat reduced although he still continued to produce, before the appointment of Brendan Rodgers proved the final nail in the coffin as he was subsequently released in 2017, after a brief stint on loan at Hibernian.
That brought to a close what had been a remarkable few seasons for the ageing menace at Celtic Park, solidifying his status as a real club legend having recorded a total tally of 89 goals and 72 assists in 227 games.
In truth, the Hoops simply struck gold in managing to snap up such an asset for a mere £300k.