Postecoglou could finally ditch "frustrating" £14k-pw Celtic dud by signing 24yo brute - opinion
With a “hectic” end to the window in store for Scottish champions Celtic, according to manager Ange Postecoglou, the likelihood is that the Parkhead outfit will be adding to the seven major deals that they have already completed this summer.
One of those potential signings could be Maccabi Haifa midfielder Mohammad Abu Fani, with the 24-year-old having been heavily linked with a move to Glasgow throughout the last few months.
While previous reports had suggested that a move would be unlikely, a more recent update from the Daily Record suggested that the Israel international is a ‘live option’ for the Premiership champions, having been watched on ‘several occasions’ by club scouts.
The 14-cap menace has scored 11 goals and provided seven assists in 104 games for his current club so far in all competitions, while also offering a robust and physical presence from his midfield berth, despite his diminutive frame.
The 2021/22 campaign saw the midfield maestro – who still has four years remaining on his existing deal – particularly impress, as he laid on 12 goal contributions in 44 appearances across all fronts.
Not just a creative asset, Abu Fani also clearly has something of a tenacious side after racking up 14 yellow cards in all competitions last term, while his streetwise nature was also illustrated by a viral clip which showed him time-wasting late on in a clash against Maccabi Tel Aviv in January.
Such a figure could well become a real cult hero for the Hoops, while his prospective addition could also pave the way for the departure of a player who has failed to make his mark for the club so far in James McCarthy.
The 31-year-old, who signed on a free transfer from Crystal Palace last summer, is yet to feature this season having been resigned to a bit-part role under Postecoglou in his Celtic career so far. He made just 22 appearances last term, with only six of those coming from the start.
The Republic of Ireland international has endured a “frustrating” time of it so far in Scotland, in the words of former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie, and it’s no real surprise that there are already reports that he could be on his way out this summer.
Unlike Abu Fani, the £14k-per-week midfielder has shown little of an attacking threat in recent times, having recorded just one assist and failed to score in all competitions last term, while his average match rating of 6.72 saw him rank 26th in the Celtic squad for the 2021/22 season, as per SofaScore.
Such a dismal record is an indicator of just what a nightmare spell it has been for the 42-cap dud so far at Parkhead, and it seems that he might need to move on to try and revive his career, even with three years left on his contract.
That is the view of journalist Pete O’Rourke – speaking in an interview with Football FanCast – as he stated: “Obviously Celtic did a lot of business late on in the last summer window and McCarthy was among those signings. It hasn’t worked out for either party, really.
“McCarthy hasn’t played enough games and maybe Ange Postecoglou hasn’t seen the best of him. So maybe if McCarthy is looking to play regular first-team football he might have to leave Celtic.”
Postecoglou could well hasten that potential exit by bringing in the younger Abu Fani in the coming weeks, with it hard to see the former Everton man having much of a role to play for the Hoops going forward.