By Danny Wright
Former Rangers midfielder Dean Furman has revealed that he helped Celtic complete the signing of Rivaldo Coetzee by suggesting that he will be able to adapt to life in Scotland.
On Monday, Ajax Cape Town had confirmed that Coetzee, 20, left the South African club to join Scottish champions Celtic, who are in desperate need of defensive cover following injuries to Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko.
Tuesday night’s woeful defensive display against Astana in the Champions League highlighted just how much Brendan Rodgers needed to snap up a new centre-back before the transfer window slams shut next week.
Furman, 29, has since said that Celtic contacted him to ask for his thoughts on his fellow South Africa international Coetzee, and proceeded to big up the Parkhead club despite being a former player of their bitter Glasgow rivals Rangers.
“Celtic contacted me because I played under Brendan Rodgers. They wanted to ask me about Rivaldo,” said Furman, who worked alongside the Hoops boss at Chelsea in the early part of his career, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“I believe he can handle the physical aspect of the league.
“He was thrown into the South Africa team at a young age and he was never out-muscled against the big guys in African football.
“I think he will adapt his game to the Scottish League.”
He added: “It’s a great opportunity for any young player to play for a team the size of Celtic. They are a huge club and get to play in the Champions League and they win silverware.”
Although Furman only ever earned one first-team appearance in his three years at Ibrox, not many Rangers fans will forgive him for not only bigging up the Hoops, but also helping them solve their defensive crisis by offering his insight on Coetzee.
Furman now plays for SuperSport United in the South African top-flight after having spells at Bradford, Oldham and Doncaster.