A win would be ominous, energies targeted on defence


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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4

  1. No online tickets for the away leg in Valencia



    Tickets must be bought from the Mestalla and only two tickets per person, with valid Spanish identification



    Do Valencia not want to make money?

  2. I personally am not a fan of loans at all, in fact it should really not be allowed. It is ridiculous that the big EPL clubs buy up all the emerging young talent then lend them out again and so doing damage and prevents other smaller clubs getting these players. Frankly, I would put a limit on the size of clubs staff, say no more than about 45 or so.


    That’s just me





    5-1 the good guys tonight

  3. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    “…resigned to postponing…” is an odd choice of words.






  4. Paul 67,



    While I like new quality signings, I am not comfortable with half a team of loan signings. Especially with no option to buy.



    Some may even question; is it really a Celtic team when half the players don’t belong to us.




  5. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    How many of the likely first team (when all fit) would be loanees?






  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    This is actually a really important game. A win would give us a six point lead. Having started back level on points, then extending our lead to one and then three, six would be a good “baseline” lead, hopefully which we wouldn’t drop below. Anything above that and the other teams would begin to feel discouraged and lose a bit of hope. Drop any points and we give them encouragement.


    St Johnstone can be a stubborn opponent, sometimes more so at CP.


    Come on Celtic – get the job done!

  7. P67


    So we are being forced to address the issue at CH in addition to the right back position, this flies in the face of proper recruitment planning and having a competent squad able to step up to the first team, I expected some of the non contributors to be moved on , I see no signs of this.

  8. traditionalist88 on

    !!BADA BING!! on 30TH JANUARY 2019 12:25 PM


    Any loans should have an option to buy fee attached to it….





    Apparently we are pushing for this with Toljan but clubs seem increasingly reluctant to agree to this clause, even for players that are effectively frozen out.



    Probably the size of the fee that is the stumbling block, think they paid £6.5m for him, so they are probably looking to recoup the bulk of that. I’d say we’re going no more than £3m. Pure guesswork of course. But reasonable to assume his value has depreciated given hes out the picture, the question is can we agree with Dortmund how much his value has depreciated?




  9. from what I’ve seen – Toljn looks awkward and not any better than what we have. Was re signing hime because of the club he is at. He doesn’t have the spark of a Celtic player. Celtics defensive signing policy is totally shambolic! could cost us the title.



    If we have financial dominance in Scotland , surely there is no better time now than to demonstrate our power and end the challenge – do not, and the board are negligent and responsible for missing a chance that will never come again in our lifetime.

  10. AN TEARMANN on 30TH JANUARY 2019 12:58 AM







    Hi mate.a lot of worrying hun related conjecture in your post.







    Hi pal , aye a suppose you are right , just hate them being anywhere near us , in fact I wanted them gone . Don’t think I am not aware when on our game and the timid guys in our team which in my opinion we have too many , decide to roll the sleeves up , that we are not streets ahead of them .



    It’s not just them we have to be wary off , it’s the men in black , when they are in there place ,well behind us ,there imput is meaningless ,and that’s the way I like it , and I am sure many on here are of the same mindset. We shouldn’t,t on the second last day of the window still be looking for players to fill the positions which we badly need replacements , positions which have needed filled for some time now , I don’t want our club to live beyond its means , I want our club to compete at as high a level as It can . To win every trophy that it is possible to win . No 1 being the premier league , which for me and is two fold . We are crowned champions ,with the chance of the financial rewards that the CL bring , secondly if we have that chance they don’t . But for that to be realised ,we have to keep upgrading the team , we have to seek to bring in the personnel to improve the team . But at celtic as we all know that doesn’t happen . But as always just my opinions . HH

  11. Without going slightly Shankly on things I dont think any player decision should be unplanned especially when this particular one is just recovering from a serious injury and the others in that position are either out of favour / were never in favour / injury prone themselves / no t likely to be here in the summer



    This summer is looking distinctly like we will be going into the qualifiers with the same questions over Defence and Attack



    Anyone know if French Eddy or Bayo will have other international (full/u21) commitments around that time? Not including griff until he comes back and as far as im aware Timo isnt due to be here

  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Former hoops player Ramon Vega hoping to get nominated to stand against Infantino for FIFA president. Hope he gets in. Infantino has done nothing for the better. Probably be the usual stitch up though.

  13. Go tell the Spartim on

    Nobody knows how any signing will turn out until they’ve played for Celtic and they need a good run of games, at least 10. The market is evolving continuously so loans maybe the only option at this time, i dont see the need for a RB on loan who wont be fit for a month (allegedly) but that may just be the usual sweety wife gossiping.

  14. Not ideal but better than what we have will do for now.



    I don’t see a problem with looking at looking at players who are second choice at a team like Dortmund – they’re one of the best teams in Europe this season. But it would be a surprise if someone who moved from hoffenheim to Dortmund chose to cone to Scotland for his next move

  15. Paul67 et al



    We wont get many, if any, better players on loan than Benkovic, terrific signing. Injury not diagnosed? That does not surprise me. Felip was injured against Aberdeen played at Ayebroke where if I remember rightly had to go off injured and despite all that has played in games since including Saturday. Despite looking like a hamstring injury at Ayebroke my view was that it was a tendon at the back of his knee, which he had strained against Aberdeen. As others have pointed out, no sign of injury against Accies, so until we hear different I’ll stick with my own guesswork. If I am right, and it is a recurring strain, he will be fine, a tear would take longer to recover from. Other injuries are of course available.

  16. 50 shades of green on

    So we were never after a CH in this window eh, could have told us that 29 days ago and saved awe the We need/want/demand a CH posts. ???

  17. I really wish this transfer window was shut and we knew where we stand player wise. I can then express my opinion on how things went. I have to say not to happy at the moment.

  18. Go tell the Spartim on

    If we’re going for a CH now, and even if its a loan, can he please come without an injury and at least fit to play?



    Isthattoomuchtoask CSC

  19. We don’t appear to have a monopoly on players getting injured. That happens everywhere.



    As Paul67 said, and I’m ensure Brendan too, getting too many is ‘not ideal’ but we have a support who now seem intent on being offended by reality :



    Get me a player.


    Spend on a permanent contract.


    How dare we have an injured player.


    Get me a loanee and it must be a loan to buy.


    Don’t want a loanee for six months. Not happy.



    I wonder how many of us, dancing like eijits all over the world, celebrating a late winner to grab the treble in May, will be thinking of the players contractual status ?



    Win the league csc

  20. Brendan is obviously ofski come the summer. His departure should spell the end for Lawwell. Disgraceful.

  21. Would be fine with a loan signing if it was to facilitate and give time for an emerging prospect to be given time and the wisdom of watching experienced guy in their position.


    When they stall growth of youth then it’s time to rethink.


    We don’t seem to have a strategy and often just react late to adverse circumstances.

  22. Paul67



    Tough game tonight against St Johnstone’s parked bus. Any win will do.



    Hope the Foljan deal doesn’t hinge on option to buy, we need a RB regardless even on loan, it’s still a contract.

  23. KINGLUBO on 30TH JANUARY 2019 12:23 PM


    I personally am not a fan of loans at all, in fact it should really not be allowed. It is ridiculous that the big EPL clubs buy up all the emerging young talent then lend them out again and so doing damage and prevents other smaller clubs getting these players. Frankly, I would put a limit on the size of clubs staff, say no more than about 45 or so.






    I was banging on about this to Freisdorfer on Saturday outside the ground.



    Clubs should be signing players at every age with a view to them playing for that club, not as commodities to be “fattened up” for onward sale for financial gain and, thereby, providing the capital to start the cycle over again.



    I read that Man City grossed £133m on transfer fees for players none of whom had >10 appearances and most who had nil.



    This system is depriving all lower ranks of football of the chance to develop their own players and be rewarded if that player is sold on and, most importantly, of depriving the young player of real experience. The days of young players emerging via junior football in Scotland/non-league in England are pretty much extinct.



    I would also apply limits to the number of boys in club academies for each age group. If I thought that that a boy I knew was just there “to make up the numbers” in an academy, I would want him withdrawn to find a level where he was happy to play rather than becoming disillusioned with the sport (and possibly any sport).



    Newspapers often report on young players earning large salaries and driving expensive cars but many ultimately go down in the football world rather than up. In any walk of life, it must be a lifelong regret to feel that you did not achieve your potential, as it seemed at the time, and I do wonder what the long-term psychological consequences will be for some of these guys.



    The big clubs , and I include Celtic here as a participant in inward and outward loans, often use the loan system with no intention to retain the player, their own or another club’s player, long term.



    Loans should be genuinely to cover an injury in a squad . I would place a limit on the number of loans in/out per season – probably maximum 3 each way



    I would exempt a loan with a pre-agreed option to buy for up to 6 months as I see that as a reasonable trial to see how the player performance and relationship with the cub but that loan would be within my quota of 3 in/3 out.



    No doubt, whatever regulations could be put in place would be abused, directly or via indirect routes such as “under the table” agreements, but i would like to see FIFA tackle this aspect of football (breath expelled after 5 seconds)





    Forecast about -2 tonight during the game.

  24. Just my opinion but I think Lawwell has his eye on being in football administration after Celtic, SFA then UEFA, this would fit with his repeated statements when asked of doing what is right for Celtic and Scottish football, as he is our CEO I do not know why he has concerns out with the club that pays him at this particular time and he has stated this for many years. I get we are a league and need to collaborate, did not realise how much we would have to ignore to enable collaboration. Silly me

  25. No Bobby Does It Petta on

    Absolutely no doubt in my mind Brendan will be off in the summer.



    All the signs are there in his body language and choice of words, and have been since the summer. Due, no doubt, to frustrations with player budgets and transfers, and perhaps a strained relationship with Peter Lawell. But to be fair, he must have been aware of the numbers and restrictions before he signed on.



    Sad to see him go. However, reading between the lines, seems to me he’s itching to get back down the road, anyway. So, as with any other good servant to the club, I’ll say thanks, goodbye and good luck. After he has delivered the treble, of course.



    Steve Clark, in the summer please.

  26. Bhoys and Ghirls,



    What is the fundamental philosophy behind a loan deal.


    It is to allow players to sign for clubs who don’t have the necessary transfer funds or to be used as temporary cover for injuries or suspensions.



    Of course there are slight deviations to this rule of thumb, but it was never designed for clubs such as us to use as a cornerstone of transfer policy or to build a team utilising it.




  27. DESSYBHOY on 30TH JANUARY 2019 1:45 PM



    Working for the sfa is a step down for anyone working at Celtic

  28. traditionalist88 on






    its like a bad game of poker





    Aye – at least its nearly over :)




  29. Bit gloomy on here today. Who knew us signing what looks like a quality player in a difficult position, even if it is for the rest of the season would solicit such a negative response

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4