Cameron Carter-Vickers has been one of the standout players in Celtic’s rise back to the top of the Scottish Premier League. Carter-Vickers joined the club on loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the season as the Bhoys beat out attention from other Premier League clubs for his signature. The 24-year-old has become a key man under Ange Postecoglou, and the Celtic boss has already spoken of his desire to keep the USA international at Parkhead for the future.
However, there are a number of factors that could work against the club, notably Tottenham’s bid to retain the services of the defender for the long term after his improvement in the Scottish Premier League. Spurs may be pushed for their own resources in the summer and may not be able to land top defensive reinforcements without Champions League football. Tottenham are currently backed in the latest Premier League odds at 9/2 to finish in the top four of the Premier League, which is looking unlikely to now as we head down the stretch run of the campaign.
Spurs may wish to move on from Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon, who have been deemed surplus to requirements by Antonio Conte. Carter-Vickers’ improvement may have seen him surpass Japhet Tanganga in the mind of the Italian, while his ability to slot into the full-back position is also a valuable trait for a 25-man Premier League squad. Other Premier League sides such as Aston Villa and Leicester City were also interested in the defender before he moved to Celtic on loan, and could be back in the market once more for the USA international.
The challenge for Celtic, as it has been historically over the last 20 years, is attempting to lure talent away from the other 14 clubs in the Premier League to Celtic Park. The Bhoys are not going to be able to compete with the top six sides in the English top-flight due to the sheer amount of resource the leading clubs have at their disposal both in terms of their Premier League revenue and ownership. The latter has become prevalent for those clubs outside of the top six to dominate the transfer landscape so much so that not even the elite teams in Italy, Germany, France, and Spain outside of the select few can compete with them financially.
If teams of Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Napoli, and Villarreal are enduring issues, it highlights the problem at hand for Celtic and Postecoglou to retain key men. It has been evident in the past as Virgil van Dijk and Stuart Armstrong left for Southampton and Kieran Tierney moved to Arsenal for £25 million, while last summer Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer signed for Crystal Palace and Brentford respectively for significant fees. In terms of movement, it has been one-way traffic from Celtic to the Premier League rather than vice versa.
Carter-Vickers was hardly a huge success before the start of the season, and Postecoglou deserves a great deal of credit for bringing out the best in the 24-year-old. Although it will potentially reap the rewards of honours this season, the club are going to face a battle of reaping the long-term benefits of playing and developing talent. The summer and the future of Carter-Vickers could be defining for the Bhoys and their relationship with transfers from the Premier League.