PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
so farewell then...
So farewell then our young Dutch star, back to Ajax, the club where it all began for him and the manager who had faith enough in him to include him in the Dutch squad when he was only a bit part player in the SPL.
His first taste of first team action in the Hoops came in a friendly against Manchester United, although both sides actually played a reserve/youth team. Celtic lost 3-0 and the old cracked club crest logo was gleefully printed in the red tops.
After that he dropped into the U19s for a couple of games which must have been a shock given that one of them (against Killie) was played literally in a public park (the Celtic TV footage of the game showed kids playing on swings in the background).
But his talent ensured that he progressed quickly through the ranks, making the bench in the 2-0 win over Paul Le Guen’s Rangers in September 06.
The next few months were as good as it got for Sno at Celtic. He started games, including a few in the Champions League, and certainly didn’t look out of place. In fact he was outstanding the night we played at the San Siro in the last 16.
He had a nice touch, could tackle, was decent in the air, reasonably pacey and could lift his head and find a pass.
But he did have a casual air about him that you sensed could be problematic. And of course he was still only a teenager, very much a work in progress and Celtic Park isn’t really the environment for that kind of project.
Last season he hadn’t really seemed to have progressed much. He was still decent but prone to lapses and some in the crowd began to target him as a weak link, the league cup tie against Hearts being the most obvious example; he basically shouldered most of the blame for our exit that night according to some.
Osasuna made an inquiry about him, eventually tabling a bid of £1m, but Celtic rejected it. When Ajax and Marco Van Basten came calling there was no way he was going to turn that down.
The fee hasn’t been disclosed, probably at the request of Ajax, who won’t be in a mad rush to publicise the amount of cash they’ve had to put out in order to get one of their own youth academy products back, but it’s safe to say that it’ll be more than the Osasuna bid and that Peter Lawell will have it loaded with sell on clauses.
We wish him all the best in Amsterdam and agree with pub wisdom that Sno will be a very good player in time. Just a pity we couldn’t spare him the time at Celtic.