Celtic shopping in narrow gap before profiles rise


Oliver Burke made all the headlines two years ago with a big money move from Nottingham Forrest to Leipzip but progress since has not gone to plan.  He has played 46 minutes of league football for West Brom in the Championship this season, so has lots to do to recover his early promise at Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers has James Forrest in the form of his life this season, while Scott Sinclair is back in the team and scoring goals, but Forrest clearly tired before the winter break and, apart from Sinclair, options on the left are limited.  Burke will fill the role hoped for Daniel Arzani, before his injury at Dundee.

Of more strategic interest is the potential signing of striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo, who plays for Slovakian club, Dunajska Streda.  The Ivorian, who will be 22-years-old later this week, has played 32 games since leaving Africa, where he managed just nine starts in Tunisia.  This is where Celtic now have to operate, in that narrow gap between when a player shows enough form to interest, but before his profile attracts the attention of others.

This has worked well for us before (van Dijk) but will inevitably have a high variance of success.

Although 18-year-old Timothy Weah has appeared in only six senior games, he will be more of a known quantity than Bayo.  Celtic have experience of the French youth teams, in particular, Weah’s club PSG, from where they acquired Odsonne Edouard.  Still, Weah and Bayo will both need plenty of support to settle.

If both deals go through we will have four strikers for the run in, a vast improvement on hoping Edouard can give us 20 minutes for key away games at Pittodrie and Ibrox.

This is all a bit early in the window for Celtic to be this busy.  Unsettlingly so.

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

    What’s Paul67 getting at – “unsettlingly so” !?!?!



    Am I not paranoid enough withought obtuse and mysterious comments like that ?!?!



    Whit’s happening ?!?!?!?









  2. Unsettlingly…?



    I guess we may need to replace Boyata still?



    And definitely expect a right back (didn’t Burke start there for Forest though rather than as a winger?)



    And no matter what happens we’ll still be hitting refresh keys throughout the last day hoping for a late present.

  3. P67 — you along with BR need to up your game.



    I suppose it gives us something to read — but top quality, insightful analysis to make you stop and think …



    What you have put forward is window dressing against the real needs of the team —



    CB strategy looking into 2019/20.




    DM — real quality individual not a salt ‘n sauce wind up merchant.



    Then we have the other pressing issues that need work:



    Captain replacement strategy.


    Youth / U20 shakeup to get rid of the tourists and ego trippers.


    Basic coaching to work on throw in’s, free kicks and corners.


    Finally Deadwood 5 to keep the wage bill healthy.



    Not forgetting this season’s big bugbear…



    Away game team selections that do not put a smile on bookies faces.


    Somebody somewhere is making a lot of money from our away form.


    Rapidly becoming a joke with our “WTF” team set ups.


    No more required.

  4. At the moment officially we have only signed a midfielder on a six month loan deal. We go into the second week of the transfer window tomorrow. I would say “So far not so good”. But I will not start bed wetting just yet.

  5. “Unsettlingly so”



    We’ve signed one player on loan for goodness sake, the rest- at the moment- is just talk. We have yet to address the centre back and right back positions.



    Lots more to do Celtic. lots. Get the finger out.

  6. TT @ 12.22



    We do not need to imagine.



    We just need to cast out minds back to the chambers that was July 2018.


    Strange comments from the manager, fully scouted players lost at the last minute.


    Wailing and knashing of teeth by a surprised and worried support.



    The only way that I can rationalise that strange little episode is that when the sealed bids came back to PL after his annual squad coat trailing exercise to all interested parties produced a little surprise that put him off his stride …



    The biggest offer was for KT and not MD as expected.

  7. Much work to do in this window to address the real needs in the team, Burke doesn’t do it for me, especially on a short term loan, not squad building.



    Weah, if he’s on an eighteen month loan could be a useful addition, assuming his transfer goes through.



    Hayes is meant to be a left winger, he was at Aberdeen, as is Morgan, but neither are anywhere near good enough to play for Celtic.



    Right back, centre half, maybe two of them and striker needed, no projects please.



    Ralston has looked recently like he could be a big part of the second half of the season, Lustig as much as I love him is now a liability defensively.

  8. Go tell the Spartim on

    Unsettlingly so, who for………………………………………………ah the beancounters i would imagine

  9. Burke is replacing Arzani


    Burke is replacing Arzani


    Burke is replacing Arzani


    Burke is replacing Arzani


    Burke is replacing Arzani






    Does anybody read Paul67’s article ?



    Loans at 18 months are as effective as perms such as Van Dijk and Wanyama and Roberts when it comes to winning trophies and tenure.

  10. Edouard has suffered from the loss of Dembele having been thrust into the limelight as talisman. The arrivals of Weah and Bayo will release the pressure on Eddy and free him up to play on the left or in behind. Psychologically and tactically this recruitment is important.

  11. Private Fraser…………just been on the blower.



    Apparently we’re awe doomed.



    Walmington-on-Sea CSC

  12. My friends and I were discussing possible signings at the weekend and one was that (given we need a left winger) was to approach Liverpool regarding the permanent transfer of Ryan Kent. This would solve the problem and weaken Sevco as he has been probably their most creative player this season.




  13. I am unsure if BR fully accepts our transfer policy but if he does I think HE is taking a big risk with his career. You need a blend of experience and youth but up front (the most important area) it doesn’t make sense to sign (if we do) an 18 yr old and a lad that has played very few games.



    If Griffiths returns soon then that will make a difference if he is physically fit as well as mentally. Please remember he has had ongoing calf problems for two years.



    We should be targeting experience for the next five months. We have a big rebuild job ahead which should have started in the summer. We have some quality when all are fit but we need to complement them with more than just potential. No more Mulumba’s but equally don’t tell me we improve the squad with a Hendry or a Morgan signing. One year on and they haven’t developed at all.



    Sometimes its about the here and now.

  14. JHJ – Ryan Kent is pish. Beyond their keeper there is nobody in that squad I’d go after.



    Frustratingly for the month of January we have made them worldbeaters in their own heads given our own failings. Need to put that right on and off the field in second half of the season.

  15. Call_of_Juarez on




    I am not sure if we have seen enough of either Hayes or Morgan to definitively say that they are not good enough. Both need 3/4 starts in a settled position. Neithet have had this.


    I thought BRs treatment of Hayes at Ibrox was very poor.

  16. TB @ 1.07



    JH has not developed because he has been thrown in at the deep end all too often with no regular partner at CB or a proper DM in front of him.



    He needs support, coaching and a forgiving audience to make him settle at CP.


    Currently he has none of these three elements in place for him to develop.



    LM needs game time / time on the park to get him used to new surroundings and new circumstances. We are not using our substitutes correctly at the moment.



    Our biggest issue is that both JH and LM would thrive in any other SPL team atthe moment. We are becoming very wasteful warehousing talent to the point that it degrades to public ridicule.



    We have had our erse handed to us on a plate too many times this season by teams who would welcome their talents and abilities specifically because they do not have them — you have to ask why this situation has developed?

  17. Silver City 1888 on

    Early business or not, the window will be a failure unless we sign Robbie Keane at midnight on the 31st.

  18. Loving the spin on th3 TW loan move.


    We are asking an 18 year old to come in and take the squad forward.


    Tasked with helping a 21 and a 22 year old take the next step forward.



    Sorry — this does not work at any level.



    Why are we relying on a youth player to improve the team?


    And why do we not have people of similar ability in our youth set up?




    Brendan must know that regardless of our signing policy, whatever that is his signings, by and large have contributed very little in the last two seasons. Edouard and Sinclair by far his best. He also must know that if we blow this league, as that is what we would be doing if we lose it, he is finished as a top manager, China for money or a lower league Premiership team in the best case, no top club would ever employ him again, so he has a career on the line.






    Maybe Lewis Morgan gets a pass at his age but at least for me, Johnny Hayes has had enough chances to stake a claim for a first team place. The decision to play Callum McGregor at left back at Mordor was ludicrous, Izzy or Hayes, in that order is who I would have picked.

  20. traditionalist88 on

    MADMITCH on 7TH JANUARY 2019 1:27 PM


    And why do we not have people of similar ability in our youth set up?





    Because as soon as they are eligible for a pro contract, the best ones have ridiculous contracts put on the table by the usual suspects from the biggest leagues.



    Look at the doubt there was and the work that had to go into retaining one we already had on our books (Karamoko Dembele) when he became eligible to sign pro terms! And guys like Islam Feruz before him (notwithstanding the fact he turned out p1sh, he was a hot youth prospect. Wee shame what happened to him eh)




  21. we should have had 4 experienced playes in by this time. Shows there was no forward planning and the board assumed we would be well clear by now.

  22. Paul67 A Very Happy New Year.



    “Narrow Gap” where “Celtic now have to operate.”



    This is not strictly true…. This is the “narrow gap”


    where Celtic CHOOSE to operate. That is a big difference.



    It may overall lead to a profit in the player trading account


    -Money ball. However it has proven very hit and miss in terms of improving the overall quality on the pitch.


    It also indicates that our board believes that Celtic exist in a mythical domestic footballing Stasis. That is simply not true.


    Like it or not and whatever the consequences for Der Hun they are throwing everything at winning this league THIS year. We can choose to stop this by Widening Our recruitment choices. And we could do so by risking sums that are incrementally less than Mr Lawwells variable comp.

  23. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Disappointing that the first CQN this week is chasing the same two mibbe mays as the MSM and noticeable January thoughts aren’t on the summer qualifiers. Crossing my fingers for done deals.



    Four strikers for the run-in would suit me but still a fair distance to travel before that outcome has arrived. We can’t count Mikey. Griff has a different priority. Oddsonne’s hampered. Who today can we expect to be ready to go against Airdrie?



    Full marks to French Eddy for his efforts for the club between September and the break. There was barely any chance of us negotiating 25+ games with two strikers. Less so when two became one. Still, we claimed the League Cup, survived our Europa group and clawed ourselves to top spot. Boxes ticked.



    Thanks Celts, enjoy your break. Bring on 2019.



    Here we go to 8IAR! Still four to go.

  24. P67



    This is where Celtic now have to operate, in that narrow gap between when a player shows enough form to interest, but before his profile attracts the attention of others.



    We should also be in the fully developed proven profile market, maybe a RB to with in this window.



    You sound like a proffesional mourner.”Can I go in and look at the body now”.Bet you are a bundle of laughs on a night out,or perish the thought ,going to a game with.


    This is the 7th of January for Gods sake.24 bloody days to go of your continual bloody whingeing about not signing anyone.We have 2 forwards in already,one on the way.All inside 7 days.You got that,7 days.You want to whinge,wait until the end of the window,and give me some bloody peace.


    Getting players in,in your world is a piece of cake.Not a problem.Just the ones where clubs are not keen on losing players,in January.One of the biggest drawbacks,because then they have the same problem replacing.


    If we got another CH in now,how much game time would he get before the season ends?.Barring injury to Boyatta,Benkovic,not much.A right back is what we need,now.About time you got into the real world.

  26. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ MADMITCH on 7TH JANUARY 2019 1:20 PM



    I think LM has a lot of potential and that similar to Ryan Christie he will have to go out on loan and put on about 10kg in muscle in order to perform to the required level.



    I just don’t believe Jack Hendry is good enough. JH is 23, not a young teenager. He is older than Ajer, Tierney, Ntcham, Benkovic and Edouard, all of whom have established themselves. He is slightly younger than Christie and Jozo.



    It was a strange signing at the time and as much as I hope it works out, I doubt it will. Development time or not, I don’t think the quality is there.