Let’s be honest, most Celtic fans have questioned the scouting network at Celtic Park in the last couple of seasons. Usually, Lee Congerton is the name that gets mentioned. Fans usually focus on the flops rather then the hits. There have been all kinds of speculation about the head of recruitments future, but you can rest assured Brendan Rodgers has his back.
In a rather spikey press conference filmed by Celtic TV, Rodgers set about putting any listeners in their place on how Lee and Celtic operate with recruitment. The need to come out and defend himself has all come from the Maryan Shved transfer. Rodgers commented during the week that he didn’t know a lot about the player which led to a frenzy of speculation.
Rodgers initially shut down questions as reporters fished out some more headlines.
“I don’t need to share anything about the internal working of the club,”
When asked about Congerton and a possible move away from Celtic to Anderlecht Rodgers made sure to set the record straight and school people on transfer responsibility.
“Once he’s found a player and recommended them, that’s where he’s away, he’s out of it then,” Rodgers said. “But listen, the regular supporter wouldn’t know the operation. And when one or two get emotional in the media and point fingers, that can snowball.
The Celtic manager went on to say…
“But he hasn’t worked in the game for this period of time without having that talent. He’s working tirelessly for the club. But for any recruitment officer here it’s always going to be very, very difficult because the expectancy against the reality of where the club is makes it tough. But he loves it and he’ll continue to work tirelessly with his staff. “It’s very easy for people and it’s the modern way, isn’t it, to criticise? I’ve never known a head of recruitment get criticised the way he does. So I’m not sure where the stories come from. Because I’ve never known it. And it’s unfair.
The Irishman then named the players Lee had found and the difficulty in getting them all to sign the dotted line.
“People shine a torch, of course, on recruitment. But the likes of Odsonne [Edouard] he’s a fantastic player – one of Lee’s players. And the likes of [Filip] Benkovic. Part of Lee’s job is to find not just players for now, but to find players who are strategic for the club, who can help the club later on. “He puts in a lot of miles, a lot of hours and of course the torch gets shone on him. But it’s very unfair because, a lot of the time, he’ll find players we just can’t bring in. They spend many hours, them and their people, traveling and working. And sometimes you aren’t getting that player in. But there’s a hell of a lot of work that goes into it. It’s not just a click of the fingers and you get a right-back or you get a central midfield player. It’s not as easy as that.
Rodgers commented on Ex-director of football at Chelsea Frank Arnesen wanting to bring Lee to Anderlecht.
“Lee was someone who Frank, when he came in as sporting director at Chelsea, recognised as a big talent. “He saw the players that Lee found. I remember the likes of Coutinho, Oscar, guys like that he brought into Chelsea. So there’s no doubting his eye for talent. But, bringing someone to the club, there’s a lot more to it than just seeing a player. “But Lee has really enjoyed working for Celtic and I’ve known him for years, so I know his eye for a player, which is top class.”