With two days left of the transfer window, Celtic’s energies are targeted on defence, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jeremy Toljan (24) the prime target. This would almost certainly mark the end of Mikael Lustig’s seven year period as first choice for the position, before he leaves the club in the summer. It is also likely to be the last we see of Cristian Gamboa, with the currently injured Anthony Ralston acting as backup.
We will discuss Celtic’s use of the loan system later. Securing players for half a season is far from ideal. Nor is it cheap. Toljan will become the highest paid player at the club, while Borussia’s loan fee will be significant. But it was used effectively in securing Filip Benkovic, who was almost certainly better than whoever we were likely to purchase last summer.
Benkovic’s injury, which has yet to be fully diagnosed, may clear the decks for a move in central defence, which the club were resigned to postponing until the summer due to the form of Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata. Better for this to happen days before, as opposed to days after, the window closes, but no one at Lennoxtown will be happy at making any unplanned decision on a player.
St Johnstone travel to Glasgow tonight with the distinction of collecting more points away from home than any team in the league, having played the same of fewer than all others, and that’s despite losing at Tynecastle on Saturday.
Fortunately, Celtic are top of the ‘home league table’, having won all their 11 league games at Celtic Park (we are sixth in the ‘away table’). The only table that matters is the one Celtic will go six points clear at the top of with 15 games remaining, should they win tonight. A win would be ominous.