Celtic are closing in on their first signing of the January transfer window, with midfielder Kouassi Eboue expected to make his move to Glasgow imminently.
However, little is known about the 19-year-old Ivorian midfielder, who is set to arrive from Russian club Krasnodar, and for a pretty healthy fee.
But regardless of Eboue’s relatively low profile, here are five big reasons why every Celtic fan should be delighted by the news:
Getting business done early
Celtic’s January transfer business is already in stark contrast to last season’s, when Ronny Deila was presenting Colin Kazim-Richards on the very last day of the window in a move that reeked of desperation and ultimately amounted to very little.
Indeed, the Hoops also left it late to sign Patrick Roberts in that particular window too, with the Englishman’s loan move going through on February 1 2016.
Moreover, even Erik Sviatchenko wasn’t signed until towards the end of the month.
By getting their business done early, Celtic are not allowing themselves to be hostages to fortune later on in the window; they’ve identified their target and paid what he’s worth.
They’ll be no scrabbling around looking for a Kazim-Richards type this year.
Brendan Rodgers is still pushing the board
By comparison to the money in the English Premier League and elsewhere, the rumoured £2.8 million fee Celtic are shelling out for Eboue is not a great deal, but by Scottish standards it’s still a lot of money.
When you add the fees paid last summer for the likes of Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Cristian Gamboa, Rodgers will have forked out well in excess of £10 million for players since arriving at Parkhead, which shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Having taken the club into the Champions League and won the League Cup, Rodgers isn’t content to stand still; he knows the value of building from a position of strength,much like Martin O’Neill did.
The void in midfield is finally filled
Celtic have been untouchable domestically this season the central midfield position has been something of an unlikely trouble spot under Rodgers. Whilst Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong have excelled in the centre of the park, the likes of Callum McGregor and Nir Bitton have continued to frustrate with their inconsistent performances.
Perhaps Eboue is the missing piece of Rodgers’ midfield puzzle.
One of Russia’s most promising young players
We may not know a lot about Eboue, but what we do know sounds very promising.
Russian Football News have crowned the player one of their ‘ones to watch’ this season, due to his combative style and ability to dribble past opposition players.
Moreover, the 19-year-old has played just 10 top-flight league matches in his senior career to date – Rodgers and his scouts must have seen something pretty special to be paying this sort of money on such little evidence.
He ticks all the boxes
All in all, Eboue ticks all of the required boxes not only on the field, but off it as well.
His youth means there’s plenty of time for Celtic to mould him into a promising elite player before potentially selling him on for an inflated profit down the line.
Moreover, Eboue is yet to make an sort of appearance at international level for the Ivory Coast, the country of his birth. If and when that happens, his value will definitely go up.
It’s tough to see Celtic losing money on this sort of player.
But what do you think of our reasons? Have we missed anything out, or do you disagree with any of our points?