The glittering early reign of Ange Postecoglou at Celtic has seen the 56-year-old showcase his talent for identifying quality and affordable additions in the transfer market, with the wave of incomings having proven vital in the club’s Premiership triumph.
The same cannot be said of his predecessor Neil Lennon, the Northern Irishman having overseen a dismal end to his second stint in charge at Parkhead, notably making some bizarre signings and missing out on some potentially crucial acquisitions.
One such missed opportunity is that of Amine Gouiri, the 22-year-old having been linked with a move to Glasgow in the summer of 2020 as the club eyed another French success story after bringing in Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard in previous years.
The young forward had previously gained wider attention after his stunning displays at the European Under-17 Championship in 2017 in which he netted seven goals, making his senior club debut just a few months later.
Despite catching the eye of the Glasgow giants in 2020, the deal ultimately fell through as reports at the time suggested that the Hoops were unwilling to fork out the required fee to prise him from Lyon, with doubts over spending that amount on a player who at the time had made just eight Ligue 1 appearances.
As it proved, the “wonderkid” – as he has been described by Opta – made the move to Nice later that summer in a €7m (£5.9m) deal, with that figure now looking like a total bargain, such has been his form in the past two seasons.
The £13k-per-week gem has chipped in with 45 goal contributions in just 83 appearances for his current club and has even been compared to Karim Benzema. His tally includes ten goals and eight assists in Ligue 1 so far this term, while also helping Christophe Galtier’s side to reach the French Cup final, where they were defeated by Nantes.
Such has been his meteoric rise, Gouiri is now valued at a staggering £45m by Transfermarkt, almost eight times more than what Lennon and co could have paid for him less than two years ago.
To rub further salt in the wounds, Celtic did end up splashing the cash on a striker that summer, eventually forking out a reported £4.5m on Albian Ajeti, just a fraction less than what they could have paid for the young Frenchman.
As those at Celtic Park are fully aware, the Swiss marksman has failed to make the grade thus far, with a paltry nine goals in 48 appearances. His valuation now stands at just £2.25m, illustrating just how poorly the club spent their transfer budget in the summer of 2020.
On recent form, it looks as if Gouiri will continue to haunt the Hoops over their misjudgment two years ago.