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Celtic had a howler on Josh Doig

Celtic enjoyed an impressive summer of recruitment in the recent window having completed nine major deals to help bolster Ange Postecoglou’s, with one of those incomings at Parkhead having been that of Argentine full-back, Alexandro Bernabei.

The South American starlet had been snapped up from Lanus on a £3.75m deal back in June, with the Hoops seeking adequate cover for regular starter Greg Taylor on the left side of the defence, having seen Anthony Ralston and Josip Juranovic take on makeshift roles in that defensive berth on occasion last term.

An exciting talent, the 22-year-old – who had provided 15 goal contributions in 88 games at his former club – had been expected to push Taylor close this season, although on recent evidence it remains to be seen if that will be the case, having made just a solitary start for the club thus far.

That outing came in the League Cup triumph over Ross Country, with the youngster’s only other appearance coming as a late substitute in the 9-0 thrashing of Dundee United back in August, with off-field issues having also hampered his start to life in Glasgow.

With the 5 foot 7 gem struggling to make his mark thus far with the Old Firm outfit, Postecoglou and co may well have missed a trick not securing the signing of former Hibernian man Josh Doig prior to Bernabei’s arrival.

The left-back had reportedly been a target for the Bhoys back in January 2021 – alongside Premier League duo Arsenal and Chelsea – while there had been speculation later that year that the emerging talent could again be on his way to the Scottish giants.

Pundit Charlie Nicholas had made the Scotsman his ‘top target’ for those at Celtic Park ahead of the winter window, having even likened him to former club hero Kieran Tierney due to his attacking talents down the left flank.

As it proved, however, no move came to fruition as the 20-year-old was subsequently snapped up Serie A side Hellas Verona on a £3m deal in July – a fee smaller than the one paid to sign Bernabei – with that shock switch continuing the growing trend of Scottish players moving on to Italy, with Lewis Ferguson and Aaron Hickey having done so in recent years.

Pundit Peter Grant has since questioned why Postecoglou’s side didn’t do more to secure the player themselves, as he suggested Doig would have been an “ideal Celtic player” who is “proven in the league” – unlike Bernabei.

That missed opportunity has come back to bite them with the impressive defender enjoying a fine start to life in his new surroundings, netting once and providing one assist in just four league games thus far – with Bernabei yet to register a goal involvement.

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Such form abroad saw the former Easter Road star earn a first senior call-up to Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad in the recent international break, while he has also previously been likened to Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo for his impressive physique, having been dubbed an “athlete” by ex-Hibs teammate Lewis Stevenson.

Such praise would indicate that Doig is only going to kick on in the years to come, with Celtic likely to be left ruing their inaction even more. Indeed, it is rather evident that his promise exceeds that of Bernabei.