Craig takes a look at Scotland’s biggest transfer news so far this summer.
Last week, Celtic unveiled Scott Brown of Hibs as their main summer signing, beating off competition from Rangers, Middlesbrough, Reading and Tottenham. In the process they broke the transfer record between Scottish clubs, having paid Â£4.4 million for him. But is he really worth all that money?
Brown is undoubtedly a talented midfielder â€“ Iâ€™d go as far as to say heâ€™s the best player Iâ€™ve ever seen in the SPL outside of the Old Firm â€“ but he has a questionable temperament and in the pressured environment of Old Firm matches and big European games he may be a liability. Celtic have lost an extremely influential midfielder in Neil Lennon, but in Brown they have an equally passionate and vocal leader in the midfielder, albeit in a slightly different position. With the system Celtic currently play, itâ€™s hard to see exactly where the 22 year-old will fit in â€“ it looks like he may partner Evander Sno in central midfield, leaving Paul Hartley to play wide or behind a lone striker.
I have absolutely no doubts that Brown will thrive at Celtic â€“ but did they really need to pay as much money to secure his signature. Rangers were only willing to pay around Â£2.5m, which Hibs, quite rightly, saw as derisory â€“ but the indication was that a million more would have secured his signature. So it appears that Celtic may have overspent by almost Â£1 million on Brown.
Brown will join another 5 ex-Hibernian players in the Celtic squad (Gary Caldwell, Paul Hartley, Derek Riordan, Kenny Miller and Chris Killen), which is a sign of the talent Hibs have produced over the recent years. At least in this case the Edinburgh club received what they would consider to be a reasonable fee â€“ the others who joined Celtic directly all moved for free.
It appears that given the lack of money in the Scottish market, Celtic may have paid over the odds a little bit for their man â€“ but on a global scene the transfer looks like a steal. Brown is already a Scotland international and will go on to gain many more caps â€“ and when the time comes for him to move to a bigger club, Celtic will make a big profit.