The Brendan Rodgers signing explains why he thinks he wasn’t a hit at Celtic, but he still used his experience to help the squad and deserved his medal.
Signed for £1m by Brendan Rodgers in 2018, Marvin Compper became a mystery for Celtic fans. He only made a playing appearance in a cup game against Greenock Morton and was rarely seen otherwise.
Until he popped up in the 2019 league championship medals ceremony. Compper though reckons that he did deliver in part and deserves his medal.
Compper told the Glasgow Herald:
“Brendan’s vision was for me to be one of the experienced group and help the team be more stable, especially in Europe.”
“I was brought into Celtic with high hopes, but it was a failed experiment.”
At the time his signing looked sensible. An experienced centre half, with an international cap, who had played in both the top leagues in Germany and Italy. A £1m fee looked good value to fans, although there were warning signs at the time with the phrase “lack of appearances” woven through his CV.
His career at Celtic didn’t get off to a great start. Compper had flown in to Dubai after signing to meet his new team mates for the first time at their winter break training camp. But rather than news in the media about how well he was settling in, the first we all heard was of an injury ruling him out for at least a month. It became a very long month.
By the time he had shaken that injury off and got himself up to speed, Compper reckons it was too late to break into the team. He referred to one or two other niggles which wouldn’t have helped. Apart from the single cup game he never seemed to be in Rodgers plans, maybe the injuries raised real reliability issues.
Compper indicates that Rodgers was very honest and suggested in May 2018 that it hadn’t worked and he should look for a summer move. That didn’t happen and he ended up in with the reserves after Neil Lennon took over in 2019.
Compper is proud of his medal and to have been a part of Celtic at that time. His contribution was based on using that career experience to support the development of other players. He talks of helping demonstrate improvements for some in training but also of keeping close to several players, Kris Ajer in particular and providing advice and support.
This all still feels like there could yet be more to the story of his time at the club. If there is, he’s not giving anything else away. He admits the move didn’t go to plan but has no regrets or hard feelings. It’s possible it’s just one of those gambles on a players fitness that looks great when it works out, but sometimes they don’t and everyone has to move on.
For Celtic fans it’s good to understand the medal was for support to other players rather than Lennoxtown hide and seek champion.