Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has proven himself a truly astute operator in the transfer market in his Parkhead tenure thus far, with one of the 57-year-old’s most notable success stories having been that of defender, Cameron Carter-Vickers.
The USA international – who is set to feature for his country at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar – arrived in Glasgow last summer on an initial loan deal, having endured a frustrating few years prior to that following a succession of temporary moves away from parent club Tottenham Hotspur.
That late, deadline day move ultimately proved something of a masterstroke as far as the Hoops are concerned, with the impressive centre-back going on to play a vital role in the club’s title success, notably forming an “immense” partnership alongside Carl Starfelt at the heart of the backline, according to pundit Chris Sutton.
That rock-solid form – in which the Southend-born brute recorded 17 clean sheets in just 33 top-flight games – saw the one-time Bournemouth loanee unsurprisingly named in the PFA Team of the Year as a result, having made a smooth transition to life in Scotland.
Despite inevitable interest from afar – including a host of Premier League clubs – the 24-year-old ultimately agreed to sign a permanent deal with Old Firm giants in the recent window, with the club splashing out a reported fee of around £6m to prise him from Spurs.
That may have appeared a potentially hefty figure at the time – ensuring that the 6 foot 1 ace is in the top ten most expensive players in the club’s history – although that deal has subsequently gone on to appear a real bargain, with the player’s value having already risen to around £9m, as per Football Transfers.
That valuation will likely only rise even further should Carter-Vickers sparkle for his county in the coming weeks, with the £24k-per-week powerhouse having already started the current campaign in fine fettle at club level, keeping six clean sheets from his 13 Scottish Premiership outings.
What has been arguably most impressive regarding the player’s time at Paradise thus far has been his brilliance in possession, with the 11-cap titan notably averaging a 92% pass accuracy rate in the league this season, while also ranking fourth for total chance-creating carries among his teammates, showcasing his ability to initiate attacks with a surging run from deep.
That quality has been vital to Postecoglou and co of late, although as to has been the central defender’s leadership qualities, having stepped up to the mark in the absence of usual skipper, Callum McGregor, to take on the armband, with teammate David Turnbull dubbing him an “example to everyone else“.
To have gone from being unable to find a settled home during his time in north London to now being a leading figure at Celtic Park is a sign of the remarkable rise that Carter-Vickers has enjoyed over the past 12 months or so, with it no surprise to have seen his valuation rise so swiftly.
In truth, the champions simply struck gold in bringing the player to Glasgow.