Alan Hutton has declared that Celtic fans will feel a mixed reaction over Ange Postecoglou’s comments regarding youth development at the club.
The newly appointed Australian tactician indicated a willingness to get stuck in with the process of bringing through youngsters into first team plans in an early interview with Celtic.
However, the former Scotland international has suggested that whilst the board will be pleased with the cost effectiveness that comes with youth development, fans will be unnerved by is impact on transfer plans.
When asked for his thoughts on the merits of Postecoglou’s intent, Hutton said to Football Insider:
“That’s great for a long-term plan, that’s brilliant because that’s what your academy is there for. It’s there to bring talent through into the first team. So yes, of course that ticks a lot of boxes.
“The problem with that is you’ve just been beat comfortably in the league last year. Celtic had a really poor season and the fans want that turnaround now, not in three, four years’ time.
“They don’t want to wait for Rangers to win three, four titles in row, Scottish Cups, League Cups, with Celtic just lagging behind in second place. They want to win now, from the start of the season.
“That’s the problem he’s got. If he’s got a four or five-year plan of bringing through youth, that’s brilliant news. It’s exactly what you want to hear, especially as a youth player.
“But he’s really going to have to start early on with his main team winning the league. It’s as simple as that and the fans won’t take any less.”
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Postecoglou carries the weight of expectation on his shoulders and will be expected to deliver near-instant success at Celtic Park.
In that view, Hutton rightly references how fans simply will not tolerate slow progress – any youth development will need to be accompanied by a robust revitalisation of the squad.
Equally, question marks remain as to whether several Celtic youth players are ready-made for the first team at this stage.
Player development necessitates patience and coaching, and youth alone will not be a reliable means to plug gaps in the squad.