The optics already look good for new Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson. Three players in before his first transfer window had properly opened and there was a purring of satisfaction from the club’s support, the same support who granted few reprieves to boardroom heads from the car park only a few months ago.

The immediate, if a little lazy, conclusion drawn was a differentiation in policy from repeated transfer windows in which Celtic have scrambled into the final days in the search of bolstering their squad. Indeed, it was difficult not to hear the echo of manager Ange Postecoglou’s summer words when the Greek-Australian had lamented the lack of urgency around arrivals as Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi were announced just before the New Year.

Dom McKay bore the brunt of that - perceived or otherwise - pedestrian pace. Yet, if a picture has emerged in recent weeks of a sense of efficiency in transfer dealings it is interesting how much comes down to the simple harmonising of roles.

READ MORE: 'We told you so'  - How Ange Postecoglou's Celtic success is viewed in Japan and Australia 

Simply put, the current structure at Celtic may still call into question a need for a more modern scouting network but the lineage between the manager and boardroom is so without politics as to make communication at this minute fairly unambiguous.

Postecoglou is a manager who wishes to coach and manage. His ambitions do not stretch beyond the work on the training ground or the success that is its byproduct. There appears no need to intervene in the workings of the club as a whole.

Nicholson is not entirely wet behind the ears either. Appreciated for the legal nous that he brought to the club, he was involved previously in the complexities of contract negotiations under Peter Lawwell so did not walk into his new role with his eyes closed.

What he has done particularly well in his opening stint as chief executive is manage well. His relationship with Dermot Desmond, the club’s majority shareholder, was already assured while arguably the most important connection – between himself and the manager – has started positively. Mutual respect in terms of each other’s role has been reflected in the trio of signings that are incoming.

What facilitated the smoothness of the deals was threefold; identification of the players from the manager that he wanted and a clear communication to the boardroom of how they fit into his plans; crucially, three players who all work firmly within the parameters of Celtic’s financial budget and, of equal importance, three players who were all keen to move to Celtic. It would be of interest to many just how often a club has to sell itself to players. Celtic are not an exception in this regard. 

Postecoglou’s trust in such matters has surely also been enhanced by the alacrity with which Kyogo Furuhashi has adopted the mantle of Celtic’s talisman. Maeda, who worked with Postecoglou at Yokohama F Marinos, where this season he was the top goalscorer in the league, has been admired by the Celtic manager since his pace marked him out when he first came to the fore with Matsumoto back in 2019. The driver behind the addition of all three players from the J-League is that they will allow Postecoglou to add depth and evolve his favoured 4-3-3 system with the current set-up believed to be only the foundations of how he wishes the team to play.

Maeda and Kyogo will be seen as interchangeable in either forward or wide positions while the attack-minded Hatate who can play as full-back, winger or midfielder is anticipated as giving Postecoglou quality options in various positions. Part of what the manager has admired in Ideguchi is the way in which the midfielder showed character to rebuild his career not only after a serious knee injury but after a difficult start to his professional life. He is believed to be an entirely different player to the one who did not play a single game for Leeds in 2018/19.

Key among all of this, though, is one universal truth; football judgements are made only in one arena and it is not the boardroom. As it stands, Celtic are due to play Rangers on 2 February, a game that could blow the title race wide open. The optics of this window will only really matter when its value reveals itself on the pitch.