Scottish champions Celtic continue their march towards the league title, with the Old Firm outfit having been in truly relentless form during manager Ange Postecoglou’s time at the helm thus far.
The 57-year-old’s regime has proven particularly successful with regards to the club’s recruitment, with the Parkhead giants having brought in a whole host of hidden gems and bargain talents who have gone on to thrive in Glasgow.
That remarkable transfer policy under the one-time Australia head coach has been crucial to the club’s on-field success, with the Hoops perhaps wishing that such astute market dealings had been commonplace before the title-winning coach’s arrival.
One notable howler that occurred prior to Postecoglou’s tenure was the failure to snap up current Rangers talisman, James Tavernier, with the Bhoys having seemingly had the chance to bring the Englishman to Scotland prior to his subsequent move to Ibrox.
That’s according to current Stevenage boss Steve Evans – who coached the 31-year-old during the defender’s loan stint at Rotherham in the 2013/14 season – with the veteran manager revealing earlier this year that he recommended the full-back to those at Celtic Park.
Somewhat frustratingly, the powers that be failed to act on that recommendation as the Bradford-born machine – who was on the books at Newcastle United at the time – subsequently went on to join Wigan Athletic in 2014, before joining the Gers for a reported fee of just £220k a year later.
That figure has proven something of a snip as far as the player’s current side are concerned, with Tavernier having emerged as a true leading asset for the Scottish Premiership outfit over the past seven years, proving a truly lethal presence in an attacking sense, in particular.
The forward-thinking right-back has been simply “unstoppable” at times – in the words of former boss Steven Gerrard – having racked up 91 goals and 112 assists in 373 games for the club to date, with that a truly staggering haul for a player in his position.
Those “scary numbers” – as described by pundit Kenny Miller – included a tally of 35 goal involvements in all competitions last term as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side reached the Europa League final, with that haul greater than any Celtic player achieved in the 2021/22 campaign.
Equally, despite the Ibrox side’s notable struggles this time around – having slipped nine points behind in the title race and endured the worst group stage performance in Champions League history – the £30k-per-week ace has still been something of a shining light, with eight goals and five assists already thus far.
That record is no doubt greater than that of fellow full-back, Josip Juranovic, for instance, with the Croatian star having only registered six goals and three assists in total since making the £2.5m switch to Paradise in the summer of 2021, including only two goal involvements this season.
As much as it may pain supporters to admit, Tavernier could well have thrived in Postecoglou’s attacking system had he been snapped up all those years ago, with the Hoops potentially regretting their decision not to move for a player who has gone on to blossom on the other side of the city.