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‘Disgrace if we let him go’ ‘Doak 2.0’ ‘We’re genuinely as well shutting the academy’ Celtic fans react to Vata claim

Celtic fans aren’t happy with the news that Rocco Vata is looking likely to leave on a permanent basis.

Late this morning Anthony Joseph tweeted the update with the teenage winger showing no inclination to sign a new contract.

Celtic have lost a large number of players before they sign on professionally but Vata agreed to a three year contract at a time when others like Liam Morrison, Ben Doak and Barry Hepburn opted to move to leading sides in Germany and England.

Now after two seasons of playing in the Lowland League there is no sign of a pathway towards the Celtic first team forcing Vata into a stand off- and a move to the CAA Base Agency.

At the age of 16 Vata was playing in the Lowland League, standing out on the right wing with his pace and skill with a decent eye for goal.

Also impressing for Ireland he was mixing with a number of players that were in the process of moving to Italy where there is a much more structured development path.

Over the last decade or so the Celtic first team squad has expanded to around 25 experienced players which has virtually blocked the pathway for younger players.

Karamoko Dembele was tipped for big things but a variety of issues intervened, he left without having started a first team match while one of his earliest opponents, Aaron Hickey was moving from Bologna to Brentford.

Vata has clearly become increasingly concerned about his stalled development compared to peers elsewhere, with Marco Tilio and Yang Hyun-jun joining Celtic in the summer his situation isn’t going to get better any time soon.

The final parting now seems inevitable, after just four first team appearances off the bench.

By agreeing a deal now Celtic can protect themselves to an extent by putting in sell-on clauses and bonuses but it won’t help towards putting a homegrown player into the first team.

Ever since the SPL Reserve League was binned in 2009 Celtic have been swimming against the tide in creating first team players. One or two have popped up but not like Shaun Maloney, Stephen McManus, Darren O’Dea, Aiden McGeady, Liam Miller and Craig Beattie.

For 16-year-olds coming out the Academy playing in the Lowland League is a great first step but nothing more. Serious relationships to loan players out need to be established rather than crossing fingers and hoping that another Callum McGregor will come good at the age of 21 after being out on loan in League One of the EFL.

Meanwhile there is no word on a deal with Admira Wacker with Tobi Oluwayemi and Matthew Anderson expected to go out on loan to the Austrian Second Division side.

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1 Comment

  • by Captain Swing
    Posted August 18, 2023 3:09 pm 0Likes

    If there is no route to first team football at Celtic then he has to leave – better for him that he goes now, preferably to a club playing in a country with a proper league that has reserve or U21 leagues that will continue his development, than to stay here, stagnate, regress and find himself playing part-time lower division hoofball by the age of 21.

    The issue is not with Celtic if we keep producing good young players who are covered by other clubs and who continue their development elsewhere: the set-up in Scotland has no bridge between academies and the first team, therefore only the most physically robust – usually defenders – make the transition.

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