The Southampton statement read: “Saints are delighted to confirm the permanent signing of Jos Hooiveld from Celtic for an undisclosed fee.
“The Dutch defender has been a regular feature of the side since joining on loan in August, scoring three times in all competitions, impressing fans and management alike with his dominating all round performances.
“Jos has been an integral part of the team’s rise to the summit of the Championship, striking up a solid partnership with José Fonte at the heart of defence in that time, and it is thanks to the hard work of Nicola Cortese that a long term deal for the 28 year-old could be wrapped up as soon as possible and before his initial loan spell had expired.”
Hooiveld joined Southampton at the start of the season until January, and has become an integral part of the Championship league leaders. Yet he was surplus to requirements at a Scottish Premier League side who have two central defenders in Daniel Majstorovic and Glenn Loovens, referred to constantly as bombscare #1 and bombscare #2.
So why are Celtic selling an experienced defender, who is a major hit in the English Championship, a league that is rated much higher than the SPL? It’s certainly not because of better defenders ahead of him in the squad. He could have become a partner to Kelvin Wilson at the heart of Celtic’s defence, with new signing Lustig challenging both of them.
The statement added: “Jos has signed a three and a half year contract at St. Mary’s, with the move completed outside of the transfer window as he is currently registered at the club, therefore eradicating any international clearance issues and giving the green light for the loan to be made permanent at this time.”
Hooiveld only made nine appearances for Celtic since he signed in January 2010, when Tony Mowbray was manager of the Parkhead club. He went on loan to FC Copenhagen last season, before moving to Southampton on loan where he has played 15 games scoring three times.
An Official Celtic statement read: “Centre Back, Jos Hooiveld has now joined Southampton permanently after joining the Championship club on loan at the start of the season.
“The Dutch defender joined Celtic from AIK Stockholm in January 2010 and made nine starts and one sub appearance for the Hoops before moving to FC Copenhagen on-loan in January, prior a similar loan deal at St Mary’s.
“Everyone at the Celtic Football Club wishes Jos all the very best in his latest career move.”
On the selling of Hooiveld, manager Neil Lennon said that it was a good deal for both parties.
He said: “It’s not a question of trying to get rid of him. We’ve had an offer which we feel is good business for the club and we’ve accepted it. Jos seems happy there and we think we got value for the deal. I’m sure Southampton think the same. We wish him well.”
After the transfer was made official, Hooiveld said: “It was what I was looking for and luckily I have realised a contract here. The way we play, the way I was welcomed, and the way the fans have taken to me, everything about this place has made me very satisfied to be here. It’s great that from today I am an official Southampton player.”
So while Celtic have profited from the sale of Hooiveld to Southampton, the fans have to suffer the defensive liabilities that are Loovens and Majstorovic. Yes, a great piece of business for all parties involved.