Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has proven himself a master in the transfer market during his time at Parkhead so far, having seemingly developed a knack for securing hidden gems on the cheap who have since gone on to blossom.
Such astute transfer dealings have proven integral to the club’s imperious form in recent times, with the Old Firm outfit enjoying a strong start to their title defence after winning all six of their Premiership games so far this term.
Their latest top-flight triumph saw Postecoglou’s men make light work of bitter rivals Rangers, with midfield star Matt O’Riley – one of many notable captures in recent times – having again showcased his quality in that derby drubbing.
The 21-year-old looked unperturbed by the magnitude of the fixture as he simply ran the show in the middle of the park, teeing up two goals and having a hand in a third as the Hoops stormed into a three-goal lead before the break.
As Glasgow Live reporter Ben Banks wrote, it looked as if the Denmark under-21 international was playing ‘with a cigar and slippers on’, having been a ‘cut above’ in what was a truly magnificent all-round display.
Equally, even amid defeat in Tuesday’s Champions League clash against holders Real Madrid, the former MK Dons man certainly did his reputation no harm with a bright showing in what was largely an encouraging performance from the home side at Parkhead.
Having only been signed on a £1.5m deal in January, the playmaker has already cemented himself as a regular fixture in the team and as a firm fans’ favourite, netting four goals and providing seven assists in just 27 games across all fronts.
It has no doubt been something of a meteoric rise for the highly-rated “magician” – as dubbed by talent scout Jacek Kulig – with the suggestion being that he will only go from strength to strength over the coming years.
Whether that development continues with the Scottish champions remains to be seen, amid reports that a host of Europe’s top clubs are tracking his progress, with Manchester United among those believed to have him on their radar.
Although that may raise fears of a departure in the near future – particularly with the player himself admitting that there has been interest – it could well prove to be a great deal from a business perspective were he to be sold.
Reports late in the summer suggested that Celtic value him at around £20m – a fee roughly 13 times greater than his initial cost – with that price tag potentially only set to rise if he continues to impress on the European stage as the season develops.
Of course, nobody at Parkhead will wish to see him depart any time soon, although it would appear that the Hoops have struck gold on achieving a bargain fee for a player who could now command a multimillion-pound asking price.