Celtic’s lack of urgency to find a new manager ahead of the summer transfer window was alarming.
They bided their time to bring Eddie Howe to Paradise and were made to wait two months before a deal fell through on the eve of the transfer window opening.
It was a baffling turn of events with the Hoops’ recruitment plans in disarray.
Fortunately, the Bhoys now have a new manager in place in Ange Postecoglou and they are already making moves in the transfer market.
Liam Shaw has become the first arrival of the Australian’s Parkhead tenure but there should be a lot more to come.
One name the manager could bring back to Glasgow is Erik Sviatchenko.
The Denmark international spent two years at Celtic but is now with FC Midtjylland in his homeland where he’s helped steer them to a league title win and the group stages of the Champions League.
However, Celtic are now reportedly keen on bringing back to the club.
If he does indeed head for the departure lounge, they should look towards Sviatchenko to replace his attitude and bullish nature at the heart of the defence.
Earlier this term, Ajer was lauded as one of the few players who were actually leading by example in this Celtic side. John Hartson commented:
“He’s grabbing the bull by the horns and he’s almost dragging the team through, even to these draws. You see him making these lung-bursting runs forward, he’s marauding with that big stride, he’s challenging, on his backside, making blocks, in the opposition’s penalty area.”
Sviatchenko is a player cut from a similar cloth. The 29-year-old played 63 times throughout the years for the Hoops and despite claims of a fallout with Brendan Rodgers, he led by example and knows what it means to be a Bhoy.
He was filmed celebrating the club’s Scottish Cup final over Hearts back in December and has green and white coursing through his veins. Speaking after his departure, he said: “Celtic will always be in my heart. I will always have a connection to the club.”
For a player like that to arrive under a new manager would be incredibly beneficial.
Rodgers described the defender as a “good guy” and it’s easy to see why. Sviatchenko has an infectious personality and for what he lacks in pace, he makes up for in his reading of the game.
In the Champions League last term, the former Hoop made as many as four interceptions per game and won 3.2 aerial duels a match.
This would not be the worst way of replacing Ajer; Postecoglou should certainly consider bringing him back to Scotland.