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. What is the Stars on

    Bit upset about the Ireland result. But a fantastic effort.


    Idah and Bazunu are top class.


    Ronaldo,love him or hate him,is a fantastic footballer..


    I love him by the way

  2. JHB @ 4.03



    Growing your audience by playing good football — you make the most of the potential you have in the team / in the squad.



    If we play good football and have a team full of players doing their stuff.


    Then — given the international nature of football — we get more media coverage in foreign markets.


    If we get more media coverage then interest in these countries increases.



    We sell more strips and mouse mats.


    We get more visitors to the club web-site and media streams.


    We might be able to sell more CTV memberships.



    We can micro-cast on YouTube and whatever TikTok is.


    Consequently if we play good football we will find an audience.


    Football is now global and there is an appetite for the new / the different.



    AP — More general interest in Aus above and beyond the expat market.


    KF — Much more interest in Japan / a market that wants to engage with the world over and above their local league.



    Does the SPL have a media contract in Aus?


    Does the SPL have a media contract in Japan.


    Who with and for how much?



    If they do then the bigger the audience then the bigger the contract.


    If they don’t then us playing good football might get them one or failing that we might sell CTV subscriptions to these markets at the cost of employing some commentators with the appropriate language skills.



    That is what we can do if we play football people want to see with talent that engages with audiences outside WCS / 10 of the 32 counties.



    We have a poor TV deal because the Hampden suits are useless and the product is not very appealing — the 4 times a year “National Bigotry Week” game against the TFOD2.1 is not a football spectacle it is a re-enactment of Medieval Europe for those in the modern world who like their sport raw and snottery.



    Consequently we need to do more ourselves and playing good football is the way to do it.



    PL and NL need not apply for this project.

  3. JAMESGANG on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 10:22 PM


    Surely teams like Denmark illustrate that you can be physically strong and technically gifted



    Indeed, you need to be both to succeed in the modern game.



    Don’t confuse Athleticism with strength. Winning physical battles and stopping teams scoring from set pieces plays second fiddle to quick technical tactically aware play. The high press means defenders need to be able pass confidently, full backs need to get up and down the pitch at breakneck speed, midfielders need to run all day, not smash into tackles or win battles



    The Huns are an anomaly in football these days.



    By buying players to counter a threat that we’ll only come across 4 times a year weakens us against other teams and risks putting us behind progressive teams in Europe that we’re supposed to be bettering



    Denmark do have a great mix of both, they’re an excellent team though with a very good coach, good enough to be a baws hair away from a Euros final. I think we’d be hard pressed to find that level of overall technical and physical ability in our academy or within our budgets



    We’d need a different manager as well – Denmark play in a very different way to how Ange would like us to play

  4. From The Celtic Blog: If someone had said to me at the start of this window that we’d have signed a former England international keeper, a US international defender, a Swedish international defender, a Croatian international right back, a Republic of Ireland international midfielder, a Japanese striker who reminds us of Henrik, a young Israeli rising star and Holland’s top scorer from last season, not to mention a potential Portuguese wonderkid … most of us would have dismissed it as fanciful nonsense, but here were are and on top of it we’d got Scales, Shaw, Lawal and Urhoghide.



    No player has left who we didn’t expect to. We got transfer fees for everyone who did, and two of them for the eight figure sums the media confidently predicted we’d never realise. We’ve rebuilt this squad and made a profit … which means there’s more to spend, should the manager require it, when we get to the window in January.



    At the same time, young Welsh has turned into a potent centre back, Montgomery has be coinme a first team player, as has Murray and we’ve witnessed the stunning emergence of Ralston as a genuine part of the squad and a contender for that right back role.

  5. A newly promoted Brentford, a very good footballing team who’ll likely be in a relegation battle paid very good money for one of our defenders who was part of our set piece nightmare last season



    Even in the epl they’re prioritizing technical ability

  6. Watching Bernard Ponsonby absolutely destroying Susan Aitken, Glasgow City Council leader on STV ….totally out her depth

  7. CELTIC40ME on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 10:48 PM





    To clarify….cos I basically agree completely with you……



    The ball moves quicker than any player can


    The mind moves quicker than the ball!


    And/but…..sometimes physical coming togethers are inevitable.



    I want us to excel in all three aspects.


    Saw a wonderful piece of analysis of the all conquering German National side of about 6 years ago. On average, the ball was at a player’s feet for a second and a half. Then, whoosh, it was gone to a team mate. Opponents were left chasing shadows. Impossible to deal with.



    I’m not advocating hun hatchet men or rugby players. But super swift of mind and body.



    But……with sufficient strength to win 50:50s that even in today’s game, can still be pivotal. Then Henke holding off de Boer for the goal from heaven.



    We ….. Celtic and Scotland…… are some way off it.



    HH jg

  8. Ziggydoc



    Great summary



    My other positive is that with our current system, the new striker is likely to notch early. Waiting for a goal in a negative team and with few minutes on the park did for Polish Paddy, Bayo, Ajeti etc



    My only worry is McCarthy’s fitness but we can only wait and see there

  9. Bernard Ponsonby against a Councilor,is always going to be a rout,Bada.Not many better than the big man.

  10. JAMESGANG on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 11:00 PM



    “We ….. Celtic and Scotland…… are some way off it.”



    We are, but we, Celtic, have a manager with a vision and the means and opportunity to do something about it.



    The first half and the last ten minutes on Sunday showed there’s another way to beat the Huns than matching them in a physical battle.



    Ange has a dream….

  11. jamesgang on 1st September 2021 10:22 pm



    Surely teams like Denmark illustrate that you can be physically strong and technically gifted?



    That’s one of the best posts I’ve seen here for a long time, it sums up modern football

  12. Iniquitous…come on! You know the best player of his generation is Billy Gilmour. Ally McCoist says so, as does most of the smsm.

  13. Celtic40ME



    I subscribe to his vision. V much so.





    Thank you. Means a lot coming from you.



    Good night.


    HH jg

  14. JAMESGANG on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 5:00 PM





    Get much better, very soon, my friend.



    FWIW – my opinion is that the Scottish Government is trying to chase a virus horse that that had already started to bolt even before the return to schools, paradise, pubs, etc.



    HH jg



    Hrvatska Jim may I echo the sentiments of yon most handsome of tims,you look after yourself Jim.take care j






    Heh mate,not been on much but on one of the snarl(read)backs:-) I read of your result.take it easy my friend.


    I would normally go to game and catch up with ma 2 youngyins:-) 84 & 73,both massive tims like you and I,like us absolutely gannin to see Celtic.both been goin since before i was born (7-1 game:-) …but hears the thing.


    After leading a disciplined and rule abiding life for nigh on 2 years,both goin through health ops during it, suddenly normality clashed with covid.one of them is not going to go back as he feels no one gives a fook bout rules and as you point out the huddle are not bright at mo.



    To all others going through discomfort with covid be it mental or physical,there is always Celtic and its daily life since we left that we hall in Calton in 1887.we have done no bad with the same continuous history.



    HH all Celts health first…. nowt healthier than that title.we are Celtic




  15. Just a quick mention about Scotland.Watched the game tonight.KT having a tough time of it just now.thats the last 2 games iv seen him hes been at fault for 3 goals.tbh always thought he was better attacking than defending.



    Scotland played much better 2nd half after a terrible 1st.unfortunately we have heehaw up front.Would buy Gilmour in a minute..composed and brave on the ball..what we need.



    HAIL HAIL brothers



    Iniquitous…come on! You know the best player of his generation is Billy Gilmour. Ally McCoist says so, as does most of the smsm.



    BOBBY, I stand corrected.😊

  17. CELTIC40ME on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 10:08 PM





    “If we’re looking to play that sort of football and sign those sort of players to play in the first team it doesn’t make sense to have the academy players playing to a different blueprint.”



    Exactly, that was apparently Rodgers vision and I believe he tried to implement it. High intensity attacking football requires:


    (i) Good players who can implement it


    (ii) A big squad as it takes a lot out of the players so rotation/rest is a must ( academy could play a major role here)


    (iii) Regular refreshment of the squad with players ready to fit right in (again academy could play an important role)



    After Rodgers left it seems everything fell apart and anyway was probably never fully implemented as we had no DoF overseeing the implementation. I have respect for Neil Lennon but I don’t think there’s any evidence that he ever shared Rodgers’ vision or had the capabilities to implement it even if he did have a similar vision – he seemed to be more about going from week to week.



    You can see that even under Rodgers we never really met the criteria set out above and as you go down the criteria the further away to get. A major reason Rodgers left (not the only one) was that he realised Celtic board would not refresh the team, instead filling it with projects to sell on.



    Can Ange succeed where Rodgers failed? Perhaps, but we do need a DoF and a better scouting system and a willingness to invest – without them we will not succeed in Europe, which I think is what we need to do to fulfill our potential. Given all the resources we have and money we spend we are still getting knocked out of European competitions by teams with fewer of both. Didn’t a recent report commissioned by D McK conclude that we are only achieving 60% of what we should given our resources? I hope that statistic is urging people at Celtic to make important changes.

  18. Good leader P67. Juranovic Really impressed me in his first game, Starfelt has heart and when he settles we will be happy he is a hoop, Kyogo has the potential to be legend. Excellent window, moving on the players who would not have motivation to give it all and bringing in fresh legs. We are a wee bit thin in midfield but then again Ange could forge steel and fire from a core team. Exciting season ahead. The goal must be the League and automatic CL qualification. Anything else is a bonus.

  19. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    As someone wrote last night ‘ Surely teams like Denmark illustrate that you can be physically strong and technically gifted’. Hits the nail on the head.



    It’s the first thing that struck me about AZ – they were big , strong athletes who were technically very good (that was a very, very good result for Celtic).



    WGS was actually on to something when he was mocked a few years ago: with some notable exceptions, the days of the skilful short-arse are long gone.

  20. What this guy said……………………..










    “I’m not advocating hun hatchet men or rugby players. But super swift of mind and body.”

  21. While I hope we can begin to produce players in the modern mould, imo, we can’t do it unless there is root and branch change in the way football is played in Scotland from a young age. Get rid of the blood and snotters, get tore into them nonsense.

  22. What this guy said……








    Don’t confuse Athleticism with strength. Winning physical battles and stopping teams scoring from set pieces plays second fiddle to quick technical tactically aware play. The high press means defenders need to be able pass confidently, full backs need to get up and down the pitch at breakneck speed, midfielders need to run all day, not smash into tackles or win battles

  23. You have got to hand it to SC — he has killed CQN stone dead.


    NL gave it a go but the football always won out.


    SC as NT manager — you are totally out of your depth.


    The lack of continuity / familiarity is your downfall.



    Also — the happy clappers / the Board strike back.


    The volley posting of the happy message is something else.


    International this / international that …


    Tripe like that is why we are in the mess we are in.


    All about the headlines / nothing about the context.



    CS — fringe player for Sweden at best but no matter the headline is better.



    Finally the NL of 2018 was not the NL of 2010.


    The name was the same but the ability was much reduced.


    Add in the lack of coaching support and it was just a matter of time.


    As for the NL of 2021 — a “debate” with LG is his level.


    A period of reflective silence would do us all good.

  24. Celtic4 me



    Great insights well articulated – thanks for sharing bhoy.


    I don’t have the same knowledge of the game as you do. I’d be nervous that this year again we leave a door open for thems………



    I agree with all your points, the Scottish game hasn’t evolved -You might say


    Celtic are caught between a rock and an Ibrox place…….





  25. Weebobbycollins on

    “Inverness Caledonian Thistle will receive a six-figure sum as part of Scotland midfielder Ryan Christie’s transfer from Celtic to Bournemouth.”


    That’ll be £1125.36 then…

  26. glendalystonsils on

    Whatever happened to the blueprint produced by Henry McLeish which was designed to drag Scottish fitba into the (then) 20th century?

  27. Weebobbycollins on

    I see Leigh Griffiths is squaring up to Neil Lennon in the gossip columns…


    I wonder who’ll win that one then…?