Date: 11th January 2019 at 2:59pm
Written by:

OPINION

Celtic look set to secure the signing of American college star Andrew Gutman on a free transfer just days after the 22-year-old was released following an unsuccessful trial with Old Firm rivals Rangers.

As reported by the Scottish Sun, the Hoops have agreed a deal to sign the left-back, who will move to Glasgow at some point this month after securing a work permit.

Gutman had been on trial across town with the Gers alongside Andrew Polster, but unlike the USA international, was unsuccessful in convincing Steven Gerrard to take a punt on him.

Celtic fans will no doubt be hailing this as a victory over their bitter rivals, and as Rangers fans mock the Hoops in return, the importance of such a deal cannot be underestimated for manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman has not had too much success in the transfer market during his time at Rangers, with several deals falling flat on their face for Rodgers.

The fate of Youssouf Mulumbu, who is up for sale this month despite only arriving in the summer, illustrates that perfectly, as does that of Marvin Compper.

Obviously Gutman is a different kind of buy to those two, with the American full-back being a young prospect rather than an experienced operator, but Rodgers’ judgement in the market will come into question nevertheless.

And, the fact that Rangers counterpart Steven Gerrard turned down the chance to sign Gutman really ramps up the pressure on Rodgers to have got this one right.

It is said that Celtic view Gutman as a long-term project, and Rodgers must really invest a lot of time and effort into making a success of his move across the pond.

If he does that, and Gutman responds by becoming a key player for the club in the future, then Rodgers will be vindicated and his reputation will be in tact.

However, if that does not happen, and Gerrard is proved right in his assertions, then Rodgers will take a serious hit on his decision-making reputation in the market.

There is a lot riding on this move for Rodgers then, and he has his work cut out to prove the doubters wrong.