Davie Hay: Johansen fits mould of Celtic's Nordic successes

STEFAN JOHANSEN is sure to get a warm welcome when he is introduced to the crowd at Celtic Park tomorrow.

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Stefan Johansen will be introduced to Celtic fans at Parkhead
Stefan Johansen will be introduced to Celtic fans at Parkhead

The midfielder is not ready to play because he has been signed during the Norwegian close season. But I don't think it will take long to get him up to speed.

Having identified the January window as the main one for the club's strengthening this year, I can understand why Celtic have dipped into the Scandinavian market again.

With their season over, clubs in that part of the world are more willing to sell, and they are still affordable enough to be within Celtic's budget.

I know not every signing from these markets has worked out - Mo Bangura, Morten Rasmussen - but enough have to make it worthwhile.

I like the Scandinavians as people. We have a lot in common in terms of lifestyle and their outlook on things.

They don't get too carried away, whether it's going well or badly - think about Henrik Larsson and Johan Mjallby - and bring stability to your club.

I was manager of Lillestrom in Norway in the late Eighties, and we won the title.

I enjoyed working with the players. They were good professionals, and got on with their job.

Stefan's side, Stromsgodset, have been progressing impressively for the past few years before finally becoming champions in November.

The standard of the Norwegian league is not too strong, but you still have to be playing well to finish ahead of Rosenborg and Molde, who have much greater resources.

Stefan's hard work has also allowed him to break into the national side, and I look forward to seeing him in the Hoops.


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