While Celtic are currently benefitting from the astute transfer dealings orchestrated by manager Ange Postecoglou, the Parkhead outfit have not always made the right decisions when it comes to incomings and outgoings in recent years, having potentially seen a handful of key figures slip from their grasp.
One notable error that the Old Firm outfit may well be regretting is their decision not to pursue a permanent deal for United States international, Timothy Weah, with the former Hoops loanee having already made his mark at this year’s World Cup.
The American starlet – who is the son of former Ballon d’Or winner George Weah – had been snapped up by the Glasgow side on a six-month loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain back in January 2019, with then-boss Brendan Rodgers having been keen to add the youngster to his forward options.
While his time in Scottish football was brief, the exciting talent certainly made a “significant impact” in that time – in the words of pundit Chris Sutton – having scored four goals and laid on one assist in his 17 appearances for the club, only four of which came from the start.
The New York-born starlet could well have made a greater contribution had it not been for the change in the dugout, with Rodgers’ departure just a month into his time at Paradise proving something of a setback, as Weah went on to play a limited role under his successor, Lennon.
The striker’s time at his temporary home was ultimately cut short as he was called up to USA’s squad for the U20 World Cup before the Scottish domestic season was at an end, with the player choosing to represent his country rather than remain on the fringes with the Bhoys.
That decision may well have played a factor in Lennon and co opting against trying to secure a permanent move or another loan swoop, despite the player admitting he would be open to a return to Glasgow, as the 6-foot menace went on to join Ligue 1 side Lille later that year for a reported fee of around €10m (£8.7m).
That inability to both adequately utilise Weah’s talents during his loan stint and also not to try and pursue a permanent capture has seemingly backfired as far as those at Celtic Park are concerned, with the 22-year-old having since gone on to thrive in his current surroundings.
While injuries have somewhat inhibited his impact for the French outfit of late, the £11.7k-per-week machine still boasts a haul of eight goals and eight assists in 81 appearances for the club, including eight goal involvements from his attacking berth last term.
It is on the global stage where the former PSG ace has truly stolen the headlines, however, having netted for his country in their opening game in Qatar against Wales on Monday evening, producing a composed, poked finish after latching onto Christian Pulisic’s threaded pass.
The wide man’s all-round performance also caught the eye as he completed two of his three crosses and two of his three long balls, while also showcasing his composure in possession after recording an 88% pass accuracy rate from his 34 touches.
That outing – which also saw the fleet-footed machine record one key pass – unsurprisingly led to an impressive 7.3 match rating, as per SofaScore, with Weah having been the “hero” for his nation, in the words of Javier Panzar.
The dynamic asset could well go on to impress even further as the tournament progresses, leaving Celtic to rue the previous handling of their former loanee.