Sunday, November 27, 2022

Celtic Starlet In The Radar of Many European Heavyweights: Postecoglou Needs To Make The Call

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic might have suffered an untimely exit from the Champions League with two more games remaining, but their academy starlets have impressed so far in the UEFA Youth League. They grabbed a win on the road against RB Leipzig earlier this month and their teenage sensation Rocco Vata is now drawing interest from an array of European heavyweights including AC Milan, Juventus, Roma, Manchester City and Arsenal (as per TUTTOmercato).

The 17-year-old joined the Hoops’ youth setup at the age of seven. His father Rudi Vata represented Celtic between January 1993 and 1995–96 and went on to become the first Albanian to win silverware in a major European nation (1995 Scottish FA Cup). Rocco, however, is an Ireland youth international who has so far featured for their U15, U17, U18 and U19 ranks.

“Celtic is a big part of my life because when I was born my dad played for them. I’d always watch them in my free time. Celtic has always been in my heart”

This is what the youngster said while discussing his affiliation and attachment with the Scottish giants.

Although he is yet to break into their senior squad, the Bhoys have set a valuation of around €2m for their prized asset with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2024. Predominantly a ‘number 10’ or second striker, Vata is regarded highly for his flexibility across the frontline. He has exhibited his excellence from left, right and centre.

Ange Postecoglou

Celtic have produced many promising names who progressed through their esteemed academy. Kieran Tierney has settled in Arsenal, whereas Ben Doak is another highly-rated prodigy who joined Liverpool last summer. He is in blistering form for their reserves with 3 goals and assists each in 4 UEFA Youth League games.

Why Celtic Must Make The Call

Vata, too, is showing his mastery having fired in 4 goals in 11 Lowland League outings. He netted in their 2-1 victory against RB Leipzig U19s and the clubs across Europe are circling like vultures given his ceiling is higher than the majority of teenagers who belong to the same age group.

The attacker, meanwhile, must think rationally before making a call. A seven-figure sum is quite astronomical for Celtic, but the same is minuscule for the European hotshots even though it’s just the beginning of Vata’s long career road. The breakthrough in senior football would be quicker if he continues to impress at his boyhood club. Nevertheless, the young prodigy is expected to gain better training facilities if he plies his trade in Italy or England.

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