Ange Postecoglou has spoken an incredibly impressive game since becoming the new Celtic manager.
He is under no illusions as to how tough the job in hand will be but it would appear that incoming CEO Dominic McKay and the Hoops boss have begun their work on the recruitment front.
This is a massive summer for the Bhoys, who could lose Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer. The Norwegian is threatening to make Postecoglou’s life difficult in the early weeks of his tenure after the club knocked back bids worth £10m for his services.
Celtic’s bearded coach suggests that transfers could be concluded shortly but one man who should be at the top of their list but may have to wait a few more weeks for a move is Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
He has been sublime during the ongoing European Championship and was linked with a move to Celtic last summer. Roma now value the Swede at £4m and in the build-up to the Euros, he hinted at using the tournament as a shop window.
If he has been playing for an exit from the Italian club, then it should have paid off. Olsen has been one of the best goalkeepers throughout the group stages, keeping two clean sheets in three games (against Spain and Slovakia).
His shot-stopping has been phenomenal, making a number of top-drawer saves to keep opponents at bay.
The 31-year-old has made it through the tournament so far with a save rate of 81.8%, the sixth-best tally in the entire competition. Furthermore, Olsen is the fourth-best ‘keeper at the competition for preventing expected goals at 1.06.
In a comedic take on standout players from the competition, journalist Stephen Drennan labelled Olsen an “outstanding ‘keeper”. Despite his amusing comments, there is certainly an element of truth to that appraisal.
He has proven to be consistent and he’s popped up with some big moments in vital games. He was tremendous in Sweden’s goalless draw with Spain, producing five stops and making two punches.
Celtic haven’t exactly been flooded with quality in a goalkeeping position of late, so his acquisition would be a shrewd one from Postecoglou. Of course, a deal isn’t on the table at the moment, but the Hoops would be foolish if he isn’t still on their radar.
Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain both made high-profile errors last term as the Glaswegian side shipped 19 goals in the Europa League group stages and then conceded 16 more goals than Rangers in the Premiership. Evidently, they are not particularly stable between the sticks.
Olsen’s form at the Euros is only a small sample of his qualities but he is clearly a man in form and wants a move away. Celtic should definitely consider him.
AND in other news, Celtic eye swoop for “unstoppable” 20-goal gem, he’s an upgrade on Christie…