Mario Vuskovic says the chance to follow in the footsteps of Croatian heroes at Hamburg convinced him to choose the fallen Bundesliga giants over a move to Celtic, as he told BILD.
It is difficult to figure out what to make of Celtic’s transfer window.
Liel Abada, Joe Hart and the ‘outstanding’ Kyogo Furuhashi already look like excellent value for money, representing obvious upgrades on what came before.
On the other hand, however, is Giorgios Giakoumakis – his Eredivisie Golden Boot-winning campaign very much the exception rather than the rule in a nomadic career – an adequate replacement for Odsonne Edouard?
There are also doubts about James McCarthy’s durability while £4.5 million Sweden international Carl Starfel, has looked more like Shane Duffy 2.0 than the second coming of Virgil van Dijk so far.
Have Celtic really solved their defensive problems?
Starfelt only arrived once Celtic had missed out on their number one centre-back partner too (The Sun).
Mario Vuskovic joined Hamburg on a loan-to-buy deal after the Hoops had held talks with the £5 million-rated teen sensation.
But why did one of Europe’s most coveted young defenders chose to put pen to paper with a side who would make even Nottingham Forest look like the proverbial ‘model club’, a side mired in mid-table in Germany’s second tier?
“(Hamburg) is a big club,” Vuskovic explained.
“(Former Croatia strikers) Mladen Petric and Ivica Olic played here, they are legends in my homeland. My father had spoken to Ivica and he raved about HSV.
“I want to grow as a player and as a personality at HSV. It’s the first time I’ve been away from home. But I knew it would happen at some point.”
And if Starfelt continues to slice simple crosses into his own net, as he did during the nail-biting Europa League qualifier against AZ Alkmaar, then there will surely be a limit to how much Ange Postecoglou can achieve at Parkhead.
Title challenges are built upon a solid backline. And that is something Celtic are certainly lacking right now.