Scottish Premiership champions Celtic failed with a £5.2m bid for Ajax’s Champions League hero Edson Alvarez.
While Celtic collapsed and cost themselves a place in the Champions League group-stages, a man they could and probably should have signed has fired his new club into Europe’s premier club competition with a goal on his home debut.
If Edson Alvarez had big shoes to fill when he arrived at Ajax as Matthijs de Ligt’s successor, he certainly didn’t shrink under the microscope in his first appearance at the Johan Cryuff Arena.
The Mexican international was signed for his defensive qualities but he made the difference at the other end against Apoel Nicosia, slamming a header into the net to ensure last season’s Champions League semi-finalists will once again be sharing the stage with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich in 2019/20.
And the irony of Alvarez’s match-winning display should not be lost on a Celtic side whose own Champions League dreams crumbled at the hands of Cluj.
According to ESPN, The Hoops made a bid for the former Club America starlet though they refused to raise an initial offer worth just £5.2 million.
Now, Alvarez might have scored the crucial goal on Wednesday which pushed the tie in Ajax’s favour but it’s difficult to imagine Celtic conceding four times at home to the Romanians of Cluj with the 21-year-old patrolling in the engine room.