It was a unprecedentedly relevant European transfer window for US Internationals and MLS signings this January. A plethora of notable moves for the stars and stripes abroad this January included a multitude of quality American signings for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic F.C.
The Scottish Champions made three mid-season moves for American players, most notably with the loan signing of US International and star striker Timothy Weah from PSG. The Bhoys also completed deadline day moves for youthful American duo Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez, who both impressed at the Celtic Academy during a trial period.
Tim Weah, the son of Ballon D’or Winner George Weah, joins Brendan Rodgers’ title-chasing Celtic side and is looking to make an immediate impact on the chances of Celtic winning a trophy this season. At just 18 years of age, he is young but hungry after good form still couldn’t see him cement a place over the likes of Neymar, M’Bappe, Cavani and PSG’s bench.
Neymar, Weah’s PSG teammate, said this on the move and the talent Weah possesses:
"It is a good move for him, a good move for Celtic as they are getting such a big talent, and also a good move for PSG because he has a chance to get experience and games and come back to us a more complete player.
"He did have options - but he chose the right one. Celtic are a big club, in their league they attack a lot and score a lot of goals, and also they are still in Europe - so they offer him much."
- Neymar on Timothy Weah
Celtic have also quietly snapped up two of the most highly-coveted US youth talents in Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez.
Andrew Gutman won the Hermann Trophy and National Player of the year with the Indiana Hoosiers, two of America’s most prestigious collegiate awards. Gutman possesses raw defensive abilities and could very well see himself work his way up to spearheading the US National team’s back line in the coming years.
Gutman said: “When I realised Celtic FC wanted to sign me permanently, I was really honoured. I know Celtic is a huge name in football, they have tremendous supporters and it is a club where I believe I can flourish as a player.
Gutman continued, “For the immediate period I will be focusing on my loan in America where I look forward to playing as many matches as I can. After that, I can’t wait to join Celtic and be part of such a storied institution.”
Manny Perez is a pacy 19-year-old full-back capped with the U20 US setup and boasting a boat-load of natural ability. His early accolades are an indicator of his bright future after winning the USA Soccer Development Academy’s Player of the Year award.
Perez sporke with Celtic’s official website, saying:
“It is a huge honour to sign with Celtic FC, one of the biggest clubs in football. From my time visiting Glasgow, it was clear to see the scale, the spirit and the professionalism of the club. “I am happy to be a part of Celtic and during this next period I will be working hard at my loan club in the USA to continue my development. I look forward to joining up with Celtic in the near future.”
Elsewhere on the US soccer front: Chelsea broke the American transfer record with the signing of 20 year old American midfielder Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle United broke their club record transfer fee to sign Miguel Almiron from MLS champions Atlanta United, and Bayern Munich signed 17-year-old Taylor Booth from Salt Lake FC.
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