Hyeongyu Oh (who will hereafter be known as ‘Oh’) is Ange Postecoglou’s fourth recruit of the January transfer window, but the 21 year old has been on the radar for some time.
Speaking to Celtic TV Ange said,
“He’s someone that Mark Lawwell (Celtic’s Head of Scouting & Recruitment) and myself identified really early on.
We thought he’d be the first one through the door but fair to say it’s taken a while to get the negotiations done and to get him here.”
Oh’s signing is a further indication of the pro-active nature of Celtic’s transfer strategy these days.
Replacement players are now being drafted in before any wantaway players empty their lockers at Lennoxtown for the last time, and it’s resulting in a very healthy squad for the manager to choose from.
Don’t underestimate the ability of Ange and the recruitment team to spring a further surprise before the end of the window, but for now it looks like he’s happy with his lot.
So is Oh signing the last piece of Ange’s puzzle? At least for now?
Hyeongyu Oh – The Perfect Age Profile
It appears that the writing has been on the wall for Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis for some time now with both players seeing their future away from Celtic Park.
Every player will have their own motivations and good luck to them both as they seek their fortunes elsewhere.
They won’t be the last high profile name to move on under Ange either.
What is different at Celtic these days however is how were planning ahead for these exits.
Rumours of Juranovic’s exit were circulating as early as the summer, with the Giakoumakis’ speculation landing relatively recently.
In both cases however it’s clear that Ange and his support staff have acted immediately to identify suitable replacements in the shape of Alistair Johnston and Oh.
Note the age profile too.
AJ is nearly four years younger than Juranovic, and at just twenty-one Oh is more than six years younger than Giakoumakis.
This isn’t a coincidence.
Despite his youth Oh made his debut in the K League for Suwon Samsung Bluewings back in 2019 and Ange expects him to compete immediately for a place in the first team.
“I’m really excited by the potential he has but also the impact he can make straight away. I think he’s a really good fit for us.”
Ange’s Wealth Of Squad Options
There may well be further movement in both directions in the final days of the transfer window but for now Celtic seem to have all the bases covered.
If pushed I would argue that goalkeeper and left back are areas for further improvement but we now have an abundant of talent across all other departments.
Joe Hart has played a vital part in Ange’s plans to date, and will continue to do so.
The ex-England No.1 will turn thirty-six before the season is out however and some forward planning is required.
Benjamin Seigrist has yet to show us if he can be a genuine contender for Hart’s place.
The same applied to Alexandro Bernabei who – though he has youth on his side – has yet to fully grasp his opportunity.
Elsewhere Alistair Johnston has joined Tony Ralston in a straight shoot our for the right back spot, which will be fascinating to watch.
At centre half Cameron Carter-Vickers has become a trusted on field general for Ange and the debate will now go on as to whether Carl Starfelt continues alongside the USA international or if another January recruit in Yuki Kobayashi can break up that partnership.
Stephen Welsh will continue to provide cover as fourth choice centre half with Moritz Jenz now returning to Lorient after his loan spell.
We caught our first glimpse of current J League player of the year Tomoki Iwata at the weekend and the indications are that he’ll now provide adequate cover / competition (take your pick!) for the ever present Callum McGregor.
Further ahead in the midfield Reo Hatate continues to shine and can be joined on any given matchday by Matt O’Riley, Aaron Mooy or David Turnbull.
Our options on the wings are incredible.
This is clearly an area that Ange pays a lot of attention to.
Any two from the following could start on the wings for Celtic at this moment in time and the fans would be pleased with whatever Ange decides.
Jota, Sead Haksabanovic, Liel Abada, James Forrest, and Daizen Maeda can all be a threat on their day and will continue to rotate across the second half of the season.
The Battle to Lead The Line
This brings us finally to the No.9 position.
Kyogo is our undoubted first choice striker and is in a rich vein of form having already equalled last season’s tally of twenty goals.
He won’t be phased by the arrival of Oh however – if anything he’ll relish the challenge – and if the occasion suits we may even see the two paired together.
Standing at 6 foot 1 inch tall Oh has built a reputation as a powerful forward and one who enjoys the physical side of the game.
He looks to be a very different type of front man to the diminutive Furuhashi, but the hope is that he can be equally as effective!
Wee bit of Oh action from the K-League here.
This is the showreel from his September player of the month nomination 🇰🇷
— The Celtic Exchange (@CeltExchange) January 25, 2023
Following his announcement this morning there’s been a noticeable excitement amongst the fans that Oh will be the man to help this side kick on to new levels under Ange.
A sentiment very much shared by the manager himself.
“He’s all action. He gets his hands dirty. He loves a goal!
I think the Celtic fans will really warm to him very quickly”.
So is our new No.19 the final piece of the puzzle?
We’re about to find out.