AS Eboue Kouassi would testify, signing for Celtic for a reportedly hefty transfer fee doesn’t necessarily mean you have arrived at Celtic. Or that you ever will.

Attracting the attention of the club’s scouts and persuading the board to sanction the outlay to bring you to Glasgow is one thing, but convincing the manager that you can make a regular contribution to the Celtic first team is quite another.

Patryk Klimala is the latest Celtic signing to discover that harsh truth, with his only competitive start to date coming in a routine Scottish Cup victory at Clyde back at the start of February. But the striker is determined that whatever it takes, he will make his mark at the club.

That has been shown by his recognition of the deficiencies in his game, such as his public admission that he wasn’t strong enough to even compete with his teammates in training, and his application over the lockdown period to address those weaknesses. Instead of retreating to Poland, Klimala remained in Glasgow and knuckled down.

That has not gone unnoticed by his manager, Neil Lennon, who might still see Klimala very much as a work in progress, but is delighted to see the 21-year-old attacking his task.

“I worked really hard during the break from football,” Klimala said. “I had two sessions a day plus then I also did an English lesson for two hours.

“I was tired when we started back the pre-season, but now I feel in good shape.

“My focus was not on going back [to Poland] during the quarantine. I wanted to remain here and do hard work because I didn’t have a pre-season during the winter break.

“I didn't feel that good, but everything has now come back to normal for me. It was important for me to have a routine.”

Of course, part of his learning process at Celtic is looking at the player who is very much the main man in their attack at the moment and picking up pointers on how to shape his game to complement his teammates as he makes the adjustment from Polish football.

As his manager Lennon has said, Klimala will have to bend to fit Celtic, not the other way around.

“I have learned a lot of things from Odsonne (Edouard) during this pre-season,” he said. “I think it was really good for me and now I can try to use some of these things on the pitch.

“Sometimes we talk about it, but really I just watch how he plays on the pitch. Sometimes, yes, I can just watch him and learn some things, but we are different players.

“Odsonne plays the game differently from me, but there are many things that I like that he does, and I can learn from him.”

Something he might have learned from another forward at the club, Leigh Griffiths, this week, is that you get a flea in your ear if you poach one of your strike partner’s goals. To be fair to Griffiths, he took it with good grace when his young teammate’s enthusiasm rather got the better of him in the friendly against Hibernian on Monday, with Klimala running in to poke home his goalbound effort from all of a yard out.

Indeed, Griffiths then went on to deliver the corner that Klimala headed home a few minutes later too, suggesting that the two can be a handy enough combination should Edouard ever require a breather.

“The first goal that I scored [against Hibs] was really a Leigh Griffiths goal,” said a bashful Klimala. “I only touched the ball before it crossed the line, but the second one that I scored was mine.

“I worked hard on the pitch to get this goal and I was happy with it.

“I enjoyed playing alongside Leigh. I am working hard, and I am feeling in good shape. The last decisions of who plays in the games will be down to the manager, that’s it.”

What is at stake this term for Celtic isn’t lost on Klimala either, but he doesn’t necessarily think that the prospect of winning a tenth title in succession will increase the pressure on the players, who are used to playing under the burden of expectation in any case.

“I understand how big the season is for the club,” he said. “But I don’t really think about it because it can bring pressure and we don’t need to have that because we already know how big this club is and how many great players are with us in the changing room, so that’s it.

“It doesn’t matter what time that it is for Celtic. There is always pressure to win, that is normal.”

That crusade will start on Sunday with the visit of Hamilton to Celtic Park for the opening day of the Premiership season, an afternoon that would normally be a celebration with the supporters as the league flag is hoisted in the centre circle.

That day will come, but Klimala says Celtic mustn’t allow the absence of their normally intimidating home atmosphere become a factor when they are welcoming teams to Celtic Park in the meantime.

“Hopefully in the next games, we will be able to play with fans,” he said.

“I have never experienced the situation and playing in a stadium without fans, but it is what it is. That’s it.

“Football is about being professional and we have to be focused and have a good mentality on what we have to do all of the time.

“It doesn’t matter whether we have fans, or we don’t have fans when it comes to this.

“Of course, it would be better to play the games with the supporters, but if we have to play without them during the games, we will do this.”