It’s not often you’ll find a Celtic supporter praising the club’s hierarchy but they deserve credit for the turnaround after their Eddie Howe move collapsed.
The Hoops could have sat licking their wounds but instead, they dusted themselves off and found themselves an alternative in double-quick time.
The frontrunner for the vacant manager’s position is now Ange Postecoglou, a man who enjoyed a successful spell with Australia and is now catching the eye in Japan.
Celtic have had to think outside of the box but it’s brought them to a manager who suits the club perfectly.
Postecoglou is currently in charge of Japanese top-flight side Yokohama Marinos, the club with whom he won the league in 2019.
His side play an attractive brand of football, keeping possession away from the opposition and tiring them to within an inch of their lives.
The idea of that style of play is to win the ball back within just five seconds of losing it. Based on that, Celtic will need players who are willing to work hard or who are familiar with that style of play.
Last month, the Hoops were tipped as a potential destination for Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss ace is now 29 and isn’t the hardest of workers but crucially, he has experience of playing in a team that loves to press.
Shaqiri currently plays his football for Liverpool where Jurgen Klopp has developed a successful gegenpress system.
Throughout 2020/21, only Manchester City and Leicester had a better success rate when it came to winning the ball back quickly; Liverpool’s percentage stood at an impressive 31.6% within five seconds of losing the ball.
Shaqiri didn’t play a great deal last term but his pressing statistics per 90 minutes outweigh a number of Liverpool’s star men.
He applied pressure to an opponent 16.1 times per 90 this term, more than Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
As for successful pressure percentage, he sits on 33% which is above the likes of Henderson, Mo Salah and Thiago.
Those are some illustrious names that Shaqiri tops, leading us to believe he’d fit into Postecoglou’s system perfectly.
The Switzerland international would also offer plenty with his technical ability. An assured passer with clever feet, Liverpool reporter James Pearce once said he had “incredible intelligence as well as breathtaking technique.”
He may be approaching the age of 30 but there’d be few better players to target if he was available this summer.
Postecoglou needs to target the Liverpool winger.