Celtic, the champions of Scotland, scripted a double raid on Rubin Kazan late in the summer transfer window. They roped in Sead Hakšabanović and Oliver Abildgaard from the Russian outfit, however, the latter only penned a loan deal that earned him immense praise from the Kazan club’s sporting director Oleg Yarovinsky.
FIFA sanctioned exits for foreign players in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Hoops made the most of Rubin’s downfall by snapping up Hakšabanović for a minuscule figure. But the 26-year-old Denmark midfielder opted to keep his options open, unlike his teammate.
“He suspended his contract and left for Celtic. We decided to make it so that in a year Rubin could get a much better offer for him. Or Oliver can come back and continue playing for us from next summer. Abildgaard himself was in favour of such two options and acted in a human way.”
Told Yarovinsky (as quoted by the Daily Record) while discussing their summer departures.
Abildgaard progressed through the youth ranks of Aab before breaking into their senior side in July 2015. He left his homeland for Rubin in February 2020 and an impressive six-month loan saw the Russian side triggering the option to buy clause a couple of summers ago.
Abildgaard, the former Denmark youth international, also earned a senior cap for his nation. He cemented his place for The Red-Greens in the centre of the pitch, but the instability saw the club suffering a surprise relegation following an array of late defeats. They could not keep hold of their star performers and Celtic, aiming for depth as well as quality, brought in the Danish star to challenge and cover skipper Callum McGregor.
Why Its A Smart Move From Celtic
The Bhoys lost two of their veteran midfielders this summer in the form of Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton. Ange Postecoglou replaced Rogic with Aaron Mooy who holds attributes similar to his compatriot, but they needed someone capable of featuring as a ‘number 6’ as Bitton used to offer as the understudy to McGregor.
The Hoops also had Ismaila Soro in their ranks. But the Ivorian, who was tipped to be Scott Brown’s successor, failed miserably in limited opportunities during the previous term. He has been loaned out to Portugal with Arouca, whereas Abildgaard’s arrival has sent James McCarthy further down the pecking order.
The Danish deep-lying playmaker remained as an unused substitute both against Shakhtar Donetsk and St Mirren. The ongoing international break should help him attune to the demands of the Scottish game and it remains to be seen how Postecoglou integrates him into the first-team setup before it gets too late. A move would only be made permanent if he impresses enough in the coming days.