Assessing Celtic’s Summer So Far

Unlike rivals Rangers, Celtic have done very little so far this summer.

Only one new recruit has arrived in the form of Jonny Hayes from Aberdeen. The Irish widemanis believed to have cost £1.5m with Ryan Christie rejoining the Dons in a season long loan.

Signing the twenty-nine year old indicates Brendan Rodgers has a big say in who comes in during this window. The two worked together at Reading and Rodgers was full of praise when discussing the Irish international before last month’s Scottish Cup final.

The Hoops have also been linked with a host of talented young players from all over the world, that would be in-keeping with Celtic’s transfer strategy of buying potential. But as of yet no other new face has been seen coming through the Parkhead doors.

Boss Rodgers has recently stated that he believes only one more new recruit will come in during the Champions League qualifiers:

“There is another I would hope we can get in,”

“Then I just want to get through the qualifiers with the players who have got us through, knowing they are a year better on.”

That’s usually Celtic’s game-plan during a transfer window and Rodgers believes it’s only after pre-season has really begun that players in the bigger leagues become available.

So while Rangers go out and rebuild their squad with a number of signings, Celtic have decided on a wait and see policy.

I don’t think that will particularly disgruntle Celtic fans. They still have a squad that ran away with all the domestic titles last term.

The fans are desperate to see Patrick Roberts return to Celtic Park. The Man City loanee was terrific in Glasgow’s east end last season. But his future depends on City and what their plans are for him, those plans probably won’t become clearer until after Pep Guardiola sees the midfielder up close.

There have been two other significant departures from Parkhead during this window.

Former automatic first-teamers Efe Ambrose and Kris Commons have both left on free transfers. While both had successful stints with the Scottish champions it was clear during the last campaign that they weren’t part of Rodgers plans.

By releasing the two veterans, Rodgers has created a healthy hole in his wage budget. It also means that two experienced players won’t be kicking their heels on the sidelines and moaning about being forgotten about.

You have to continually prune a squad and get rid of the deadwood. It’s something that Rangers need to seriously do now, as it can cause unrest and conflict.

Another plus for the Hoops has been the lack of concrete bids for their star men.

Players such as Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney and Stuart Armstrong have all been linked with big money moves away but as of yet no club has come in with hard cash offers.

That will keep Brendan Rodgers happy as he won’t want to sell any top talent before the Champions League qualifiers (or at all obviously). The lack of offers mean the Celtic board don’t need to even consider getting massive profits into the club’s bank account.

As Brendan said, his side did magnificently well last season and deserve another crack at Europe. They started to show signs of improvement during their European outings last year and it will be interesting to see if they can start this term with a bang!

So all in all it’s not been a frantic summer so far for Celtic but then again it doesn’t need to be. To return to pre-season with the same faces that created such a tremendous fairytale season last term is a fine achievement for Brendan Rodgers.

If he can add one or two new faces that will excite the support before the window shuts, along with keeping his main stars, then that will be enough for the Celtic faithful in my opinion.

Leave a Reply