A winning window?


We have watched Celtic through many transfer windows but I don’t think we have ever hit as many targets before – both in terms of who we brought in and who we moved out.

It is still early in the season but Kyogo Furuhashi (26) looks every inch a superstar in hoops.  Two years ago we pondered who was better, Edouard or Dembele, without reaching a clear conclusion.  Today, Kyogo would be first pick from the three of them.  It has been 17 years since we have seen a striker with such promise – so no pressure, Kyogo.

The first assumption is that Georgios Gialouakis (26) will have to wait on Kyogo being rested to make his mark.  With a long season ahead, who knows?  Georgios offers an aerial target that we have missed for many years, there could be occasions when he is preferred, or when both are used.

I hear great things about Josip Juranovic (26) from Zbyszek.  He was a stand out for Legia last season and no one there is happy he has left.  He gets forward, has an end product and can defend.  The defence is already vastly more stable than it was last season, the addition of Jura should help.

Carl Starfelt (26) is frustratingly difficult to assess.  He is good on the ball, fast, and reads the game well enough to cover for teammates.  Then there are the mistakes that cost goals.  At the same stage of Christopher Jullien’s Celtic career, the French defender was sitting on the bench, unable to win a place in the team that exited the Champions League.  Christopher soon settled, Carl must do the same.

That’s four 26-year-olds added at their athletic peak.  Not often we do that.

Paying £3.6m for a 19-year-old from Israeli football is at the higher end of what Maccabi Petah Tikva could have hoped for.  Liel Abada’s instant return in goals and assists indicates why they got that figure.  He is the youngest of the 12 signings this window and will continue to develop for years.

Joe Hart (34) is by some margin better than any of the three keepers who shuffled through the starting line-up last season.  He has already brought authority – as well as saves (!) – to the team.

Five years ago, James McCarthy (30) was miles out of our reach.  The subsequent seasons have not been kind, as the player’s appearance stats were subverted by various injuries.  30 minutes into his Celtic career, he again missed out through injury.  James has controlled games in the EPL.  If we get him fit, he will play in our most important games.  Let’s hope.

Filipe Jota (22) has skill and incredible pace.  Last season he was on loan at Real Valladolid, who finished 19th in La Liga and were relegated.  There is a rule of thumb I used whenever Patrick Roberts moves.  Patrick is a slight and skilful player, similar to Jota, but since leaving Celtic, Patrick has mostly played for teams at the bottom end of the table, where robust defending is required, often at the cost of creative players.  The slight, pacey and skilful players should ply their trade with clubs operating at the top end of the table.

There is development work ahead for Jota but he starts from a respectable high.

Cameron Carter-Vickers’ (23) signing was not quite as late as John Guidetti (another story) but he slipped through the window with minutes to spare.  My big worry about central defence is that I don’t expect Christopher Jullien to contribute much before Christmas (he is a slow starter to the season), leaving us short of cover for the Europa League.

Jota and Cameron both have the incentive of a permanent deal with Celtic to play for.  This worked well for Odsonne, let’s hope for the same.

Liam Scales (23) is the same age as Cameron and will hope to force his way into either central defence or left back.  £500k is decent money to pay for a League of Ireland player, his addition should ensure we do not force Nir Bitton back into the middle of the back line again.

Liam Shaw (20) and Osaze Urhoghide (20) are unlikely to see much game time this season.

Do you want to know how important it is that we sold Odsonne Edouard and (to a lesser extent) Ryan Christie?  Wait and see what happens across the city, where a team who publicly made it known they needed to sell players were unable to do so.

You either manage your assets or you fail to manage your assets and they expire looking more like liabilities.  Under different circumstances, Odsonne, Ryan and Kristoffer Ajer would have been sold a year ago, but the decision was made to retain them for the 10-in-a-row season.  I know, you all said “Sell them!” at the time………

None of them attracted clubs of the calibre that Kieran and Moussa did.  That we got north of £30m for them from EPL bottom dwellers is above my expectations.  There are deductions for sell-on clauses, of course, but this money, in addition to the revenue from Jeremie Frimpong (minus sell-on) and Patryk Klimala will have a huge impact on Scottish football in the years ahead.

Leigh Griffiths moved on, thank goodness.  Boli Bolingoli and Vasilis Barkas did not, both will wither on the vine.

So, are we going to win the league?  I’m feeling good about it.

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  1. TB,



    Football remains a place where typically men (although changing) come together to vent the week’s frustrations (as they do on here). It just is. It’s not a place where copies of Strength Finders sit on our laps and we typically delve into the power of positive psychology. Tribal, guteral utterences only.



    I don;t think we are anywhere near as bad as others (and I do go to the odd Arsenal game where it’s now beyond toxic) but It’s why shirts don’t shrink and all that at Celtic Park.



    Jack’s time with us, like others, wasn;t inspiring. Having watched him at the Euros I’m not sure I seen the growth but fair play to the kid, deserves his chance of fame and fortune and won;t begrudge him that.




  2. From previous blog



    I have to say I’m reasonably happy with the window. Brought in some good, seasoned pros used to playing in leagues of a higher standard. Sorry to see French Eddy and Christie of the treble treble seasons go, the ones of this last 18 months not so much. They wouldn’t re-sign, got good money for them, thanks and good luck.


    MOTD pundits? If they weren’t paid eye watering amounts of money thanks to the tv licence payers, it would be funny. Has Shearer EVER offered one insight in all the years he’s been on? Describing what’s evident to everyone watching is NOT analysis! His agent is a miracle worker!

  3. MADMITCH on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 9:55 AM




    It’s just my assumption that we won’t part with £6.5m for young Jota when we didn’t do similar with Paddy Roberts at the end of his first season. I also think that every penny is a prisoner at the moment (the reason we didn’t go for Ali McCann?) and that the money will be prioritised for other (defensive and midfield) positions.




    Those are my reasons but I am in absolute agreement with you that whenever we are on an even keel financially we should be spending those sort of sums on young precocious talents for our coaches to improve and develop and to realise large transfer fees when they decide they want to move on.

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

    Yes – happy with the business done – players in good, players out – good.




    From overleaf (and no intention to change the discussion into a negative – just commenting on Big Wavy’s post!!)….



    TB – me and WeeBGFC did actually quite like Jack Hendry – thought there was a silky defender in there, and he had height – we were very much in the minority.



    Agree with Big Wavy above re: atmosphere compared to some other grounds. Hate the prevalent English interchangeable chant you hear at many games – “You’re sh!t and you know you are” – how unpleasant, un-humorous and unimaginative is that?!?!



    Was massively annoyed to listen to the numpties from ‘The Bhoys’ – the wee gang of leery neds who sit above us in the Jock Stein top tier belting out a similarly monotonous ‘song’ aimed at Dundee during the 6-nil game.



    Something along the lines – “Dundee is sh!t. Dundee is sh!t. Dundee is sh!t….” ad infinitum. Bunch of total numpties.






  5. Perhaps having Giakoumakis at Celtic will help his compatriot Barkis turn his career around. I really hope so because I do believe there is a decent goalkeeper there.

  6. A decent summary Paul67. With so many known unknowns kicking about I’m making neither a happyclapping or mineshafting prediction.



    Judged on the alignment with Angeball, Kyoto (a referral and not a Celtic scout in sight), Jota, Abada, Josip, GG, CCV, Starfelt seem shoe-ins, Hart felt like a much-needed leader at the back but not a sweeper keeper, McCarthy baffles me as the antithesis of what we’re looking for and the 2 young fellas from SW felt like punts from a previous regime that don’t look ready. Scales I’ve no idea about but we need left foot balance.



    A name not mentioned is Bosun Lawal. Already captain of the B team, and being close to Watford down here, is talked about in glowing terms. I’d expect him to be a breakthrough player this season and an absolute unit too.



    Will it be enough? You make a cracking point about unhappy huns (aren’t they always). One to watch and hopefully see come to fruition….




  7. Love it Paul.



    I’m liking your tone again Pablo.



    I might get back to posting if your positivity catches on.



    Toomanyegos. Csc




  8. Good transfer window. Ange and Dom have both performed brilliantly.


    However, we started their reign with a mountain to climb. I still suspect ours may be a 2 year rebuild.

  9. On judging where we are, I think we need a run of games too for a bit of balance. I was one of a few this time last year that was glowing in terms of Diego Laxalt, whose all-action style in the first few games won me over.



    But then reality clicked, that, as previously scouted, he had absolutely no end product.




  10. agree that we had to get the want out brigade gone, happy with the replacements but the truth will come out in the wash once we start playing.

  11. P67


    ‘..Two years ago we pondered who was better, Edouard or Dembele, without reaching a clear conclusion. Today, Kyogo would be first pick from the three of them…’





    Over Dembele?


    Is this a wind up?


    Moussa was an out and out centre forward who was a target man.


    Kyogo is a different type of player completely and is certainly not an out and out centre forward.


    Maybe best that you watch old clips of Dembele again.

  12. I think most of us would have liked a couple more in but we will need to use the squad more than previous seasons, the 2 boys from Sheffield Wednesday will need to step in here and there.I posted last week that i thought Kyogo and Abada were fading after about an hour,due to the pressing game AP applies,these guys are covering more ground than most, so substitutions will be very important to sustain high pressing for 90 minutes.

  13. WITS



    You never fail to make me smile.



    I DEMAND that you run around George Square wearing only your Speedo’s if Ange wins the league.


    And your mankini if he doesn’t!



    HH jg

  14. What is the Stars on




    me aul china


    you know I am never seen in public without me a pair of Carter Vickers to spare my blushes



    Hope you are well

  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Do you want to know how important it is that we sold Odsonne Edouard and (to a lesser extent) Ryan Christie? Wait and see what happens across the city”




    Aaaaahhhh, Paul – you had me hooked there for a while! I was about to say ‘good article ‘ and then you went and spoiled it!


    Looking at what is happening across the city is NOT the way forward and never will be. We are in control of our own destiny.

  16. Wee Kyogo is slight of frame and fleet of foot. And quick of fitba mind.



    He’ll get battered if he’s used as a lone striker battering ram.


    But if the new Greek lad has the physicality we hope for, they may complement each other a treat.



    HH jg

  17. prestonpans bhoys on

    P67 said…Boli Bolingoli and Vasilis Barkas did not, both will wither on the vine.



    I wouldn’t bin the Greek goalie yet, he might be a different player with a solid defence

  18. WITS



    I’m good mate. A slip of a lad compared to the chubster whose flabby ribs you prodded at CQN Corner.



    Only downside is that my maintenance diet is that of a cat (tin of tuna!) with a penchant for cuppa soup!!



    HH jg

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Under different circumstances, Odsonne, Ryan and Kristoffer Ajer would have been sold a year ago, but the decision was made to retain them for the 10-in-a-row season. I know, you all said “Sell them!” at the time………”




    Certainly not all of us, but some of us are able to see beyond parochial old firmery and wanted us to target Europe. If we had done so 10 in a row is something that would have happened naturally along the way.




    Always watch your enemy.


    Doesn’t mean we have to emulate them.


    But thems are for the watching. Always!



    HH jg

  21. Caution Paul- we spent c£20m on a settled and de facto quadruple treble winning squad at the beginning of last season. It got us nothing but our usual dumping out of the CL qualifiers, elimination at the earliest stages of all domestic cups and a 25 point whipping in the title race.



    This year we spend c£20m+ on a failed squad. We are already out of the CL as usual, almost slipped into the third-rated UEFA competition….and trail in the league. We are also finding it difficult to win away from home.



    Over all our transfer dealings in the last six years, less than 30% have settled and become successful – bringing bodies in,, whether in our £3m/£4.5m price range, or, as loanees, has never been a problem, but getting them to perform for the team has. Let’s hope this latest bunch do not fulfill the old saying “never mind the quality, feel the width”. If Ange can work out what his best team is within six months, he’ll be doing well – to win the title this season he’ll need to be a miracle-worker.



    For a Scottish club to have spent over £40m in transfer fees in twelve months after bringing in NET fees of £8m (Frimpong), £13m (Ajer), £11m ((Edouard), £3m (Klimala) & £5m (assorted incl Hendry & Christie) – total c£40m, whilst seeing revenue slashed during two Covid affected seasons….and still stay ‘in the black’, is quite frankly astonishing. What it also shows is that we only spend what we can afford – as Paul says, asset management is the key in a league that offers only c£4m TV money. We are a ‘sell to buy’ club an we must hope that we can continue to develop “assets” that others want to buy.



    Ibrox stands between us and title/ automatic CL qualification this season. How they are able to do it is a mystery to us all – but the simple fact is that they are current favourites for all we want, with a settled squad having been kept in tact. Wondering if they will go ‘belly-up’ is unrealistic thinking by some of us.

  22. What is the Stars on




    Yes I remember that day ..and must apologise for my insensitive remarks


    I am afraid I am a bit of chubster myself these days…Though I have gone back playing football since April and despite the aches and pains and the humiliation of watching guys whizz by me I am enjoying the experience.



    60 now so i am pleased to be still lacing up the boots ( or astro shoes)


    Hopefully see you at the corner again soon

  23. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    The signing of CCV will prove a game changer. It snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Dom. Having slated him for leaving us light, I agree the CCV signing makes for a magnificent window. All of the players we’ve signed are big improvements- can’t remember that before (change of CEO!). Starfelt is excellent in the timing of the tackle. I’m very confident he will be an asset.



    My only slight disappointment is that we didn’t find takers for Boli and Barkas. Mother one area of the team I worry about is midfield, should McCarthy struggle for fitness.



    I have faith in the team, in Ange and after midnight last night, in Dom.



    Never in the PLC Board, but they can have their player trading profits and returns to shareholders, provided it’s not at the price of surrendering to the huns.



    Dom has backed Ange. Now over to him and the players.

  24. Very funny folks..



    Who has hacked PLB’s account?



    Come on. Not clever and not funny.







  25. Someone needs to tell Kyogo he’s not a centre forward – he says he’s a striker in the latest view. He’s wasted on the wing, play him through the middle where he’s been most effective.



    Cameron Carter-Vickers stats suggest he’s very good at defending set pieces, good in the air, wins a lot of aerial battles. That’s from playing in the Championship where he’d have come up against the sort of center forwards he will meet in Scotland



    If we have a keeper who can make saves and a defence that can defend set pieces we’ve solved our two most serious problems from last year.



    Much more cause for optimism elsewhere as well. As Paul67 said moving on players for decent fees is essential for the club and the tram in the mid to long term. It’s easy to lose sight of it, with the guaranteed cash pile that winning the league brings, but next July we’ll need to win the league again, and the year after, and so on. Bringing in big fees for players who no longer want to be with us finances transfer fees and wages for years to come

  26. WITS



    Aye 0-60 in the blink of an eye. Sadly it’s chronology, not speed!






    Have been abducted by happyclappers and are signalling a rescue party???






    HH jg

  27. The signing of Cameron Carter-Vickers has generated comment on here, rightly so but for all the wrong reasons. Nobody with a hyphenated name should ever pass though Parkhead’s gates. Not now not ever. Fact.


    Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a middle name, fair enough, but and Nota Bene here, no hyphen.


    Repeat no hyphen. Middle names – acceptable, hyphenated – names, a complete no – no. Comprendez?


    They send out all the wrong signals especially for a club with humble origins, a club set up to put food on the table. A club like no other, or in other words, a club with no hyphens.




  28. JHB on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 12:58 PM


    Caution Paul- we spent c£20m on a settled and de facto quadruple treble winning squad at the beginning of last season



    Care to share how you came to £20m?



    We’ve been at this long enough to know that transfer fee spend means little – We’ve got Jota, CCV, MCarthy and Hart for a total of £1m in fees

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

    WITS – absolutely :-)))



    BIG WAVY – was it you who mentioned Bosun Lawal a few days ago? Cost me an hour trying to find videos of the young chap a couple of days ago – rarer than hen’s teeth!!



    Did see a nicely slotted goal for the B team during the rout of Vale of Leithen (another timmy looking team to add to the splendidly named Catholic United and to Preston North End).



    Couldn’t find much else – please post any links if you have anything. Agree – he is a big bit of a laddie, and looks cool as a cucumber.






  30. A very good window with some great talent signed. A few thoughts:



    Financials: The Frimpong, El Hamed and Klimala money was really to offset the big spend last season (Barkas, Ajeti, Turnbull and Duffy loan fee). From the summer window (everything after the Klimala sale) I still have us conservatively at 12.5m net positive when you take away the PSG, ICT and Viking sell on fees (this could be more if the Ajer fee increases to 17.5m and Edouard fee increases to 18.5m as reported). That 12.5m will hopefully pay for Jota, CCV and a new midfielder.



    Deadwood: We did a great job shifting a lot of deadwood this summer. The Turkish and Israeli transfer windows are still open. It would be amazing if we could sell Boli (1.5m) and maybe Bitton (1m) to top it off. Barkas, Ajeti and Soro can be traded/ improved upon next summer.



    Remaining Gaps: We are very short of options in central midfield. In particular we need a couple of ball playing 8s with engines. Rangers have quite a few of this type of player (Jack, Kamara, Aribo, Bacuna, Lundstram). I would like to see us sign two centre mids in the next couple of windows. Left back is also a weak area but I’m really excited by Montgomery so would like to see how he develops between now and December before saying we definitely need one.



    Japanese market: It will be really interesting to see if we sign anyone from the Japanese market in the winter window. Having had a quick look, and not claiming to be in anyway an expert, at the market three names popped out to me. There is a young striker (Ueda) and a left back (Nagata) at Kashima Antlers who are both out of contract in January. The shaved head left winger/ striker from Ange’s old team (Maeda) also looks like a good player but would cost money and maybe not a position we need to strengthen with Jota coming in and Johnstone to come back.

  31. Kyogo has a very good start but it’s far to early to be saying he’s better than Dembele.



    Did anyone think Eddie was better than Dembele?



    Carl Starfelt looks a decent defender, his strengths appear to be basic defending, getting blocks in, headers, that side of the game. Can’t say he’s looked confident actually kicking a football and is quite slow.