Celtic can finally begin preparing their squad for next season after Ange Postecoglou was announced as the club’s new manager.
He walked through the door on Thursday morning with the promise of strengthening the squad in the market.
Once a new manager arrives, they naturally begin to be linked with some of their former players. That’s no different with Postecoglou who, according to reports, could look to reunite with Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan this summer.
Speaking on talkSPORT (via Sussex Live), reporter Alex Crook said: “It has just been suggested to me that Ange Postecoglou, who managed Maty Ryan for Australia, could also be interested in taking the Brighton goalkeeper to Celtic.”
The stopper fell out of favour on the south coast last season and ended up moving to boyhood club Arsenal for a six-month loan stint.
Ryan might not be at the colossal stature of 6 foot 7 Fraser Forster, but he is a fabulous goalkeeper with ample experience. Standing at 6 foot, he is relatively short for a goalkeeper, but he has plenty of qualities which could benefit the Glaswegian side.
The Australian is adept at playing out from the back with his feet, a primary reason for Arsenal bringing him to the Emirates Stadium in January.
Ryan completed a whopping 89.4% of his passes after moving to the Gunners, a figure which surpasses any stopper at Parkhead. Scott Bain and Conor Hazard both completed below 76% but Vasilis Barkas came close to matching the Celtic target with a success rate of 86.9%.
The 29-year-old is a leader on the pitch and has excellent communication skills; something which shone through during his stay in north London. Mikel Arteta hailed him for training like a “beast” and he was often seen speaking in different languages to the Arsenal backline.
Considering Celtic’s shaky rearguard last season, that should be incredibly beneficial. Defending wasn’t their strong point last season as they shipped 16 more goals than Rangers in the Premiership.
What sets Ryan apart from other targets in his position is the special bond he has with Postecoglou – 38 of the goalkeeper’s 58 caps came under the new Hoops boss, a coach for whom he only has praise.
Speaking in 2017, Ryan commented: “I’ve always loved Ange’s approach, the way he doesn’t see Australia as an underdog and how he asks the question, ‘Why can’t Australia do great things in the football world?’
“I agree with him. That’s how you’ve got to be. That’s the right attitude.”
That kind of approach to matters at Celtic would be important in continental action when the Bhoys are very rarely seen as favourites. Ryan knows how Postecoglou operates and the coach evidently sees the Brighton stalwart as someone he can trust.
This would be a match made in heaven; Dominic McKay simply has to complete a move if the chance arises.