CELTIC spent £18.25million in last summer’s transfer market bringing in seven recruits.

You can add £1million to that total which was the fee agreed for Japanese midfielder Tomoki Iwata when his initial loan move from Yokohama F Marinos became permanent.

Not one of the new Bhoys figured in the Scottish Cup Final victory over Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side at Hampden on May 25 as the Hoops brought down the curtain on a double-winning campaign.

Two of the incomers – Marco Tilio and Kwon Hyeok-kyu – didn’t even complete the term at Parkhead as they were shipped out on loan at the turn of the year.

CRUNCH…£4.3million Maik Nawrocki clashes with Aberdeen’s Killian Phillips in Celtic’s 1-1 draw at Pittodrie in February.

It became evident early on that most of the deals – if not all of them – had been sanctioned early before the June return of Brendan Rodgers, but the Irishman would undoubtedly have had the final okay on the go-ahead.

He would also have been heavily involved when two players – Nat Phillips, from Liverpool, and Benfica’s Paulo Bernardo – arrived on loan just before the September 1 midnight deadline.

The English centre-back signed a short-term contract until the turn of the year although there was scope within the agreement that the move could be extended if all parties were satisfied.

Phillips’ wretched performance – and horrendous own goal – in the team’s first league defeat of the season against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on December 10 made certain there was no chance of his services being required in 2024.

He was returned to Anfield and was immediately involved in another temporary switch to Championship side Cardiff City.

CRESTFALLEN…£3million defender Gustaf Lagerbielke can’t hide his disappointment after the 1-0 League Cup defeat against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in August.

Bernardo, on the other hand, ended the season on a high when he was instrumental in the Hampden triumph that sealed a league and Cup double.

It was the skilful Portuguese playmaker’s surge from the middle of the park and wicked 25-yard drive that flummoxed Jack Butland and forced the Ibrox keeper to paw the ball away frantically which was pounced upon by Adam Idah to fire in the 90th-minute winner.

Now we await developments to see if the Hoops follow up their interest in the £6million-plus 22-year-old midfielder who ticks all the boxes in the champions’ transfer model.

Idah, after nine goals since his January temporary arrival from Norwich City, falls into the same category.

It would be fair to say that the Republic of Ireland international powerhouse had a bigger impact in his four months than any of the seven recruitments in the summer.

The most expensive outlay was the £4.3million for Maik Nawrocki from Legia Warsaw while Gustaf Lagerbielke cost £3million from Elfsborg.

HEADING FOR A FALL…£2.25million Odin Holm crashes to the turf after a challenge from Kilmarnock’s Daniel Armstrong in the League Cup exit at Rugby Park.

The former Poland Under-21 defender made 11 appearances and his fellow centre-back had 10 outings in admittedly injury-hampered debut crusades.

They played together once – the 1-0 League Cup exit at Kilmarnock in August – and basically struggled for game-time from that moment on.

Odin Holm, signed at £2.25million from Valerenga, was a starter at Rugby Park that fateful afternoon and made only 12 other appearances and scored one goal, in the 5-0 Scottish Cup victory over non-league Buckie Thistle.

Luis Palma, a £3.5million signing from Aris Thessaloniki, showed flashes of genuine class and claimed 10 goals, but consistency eluded him and Rodgers added to his threat from the flanks when he paid £3million to Rapid Vienna for Nicolas Kuhn in January.

At least, the Honduran flanker got a place on the substitutes’ bench for the Scottish Cup Final along with Nawrocki and Iwata.

Australian international Tilio, who cost £2million, played for a total of 28 MINUTES before being loaned back to Melbourne City while South Korean midfielder Kwon Hyeok-kyu, bought for £850,000 from Busan I-Park, didn’t kick a ball in competitive action before his January switch to St Mirren.

HAPPIER TIMES…£2million Marco Tilio proudly holds his Celtic shirt following his June arrival.

Kwon’s counterpart Yang Hyun-jun, brought in for £2.1million, looked explosive on occasion, but his defensive work was practically non-existent – as witnessed at Ibrox in April when he allowed Rabbi Matonda a clear shot for the stoppage-time equaliser in the 3-3 draw.

He started 12 times in 31 appearances and there is undoubted promise within the player’s skill set.

The question, though, is will we witness those qualities at the champions?

You could pose the same query at the other six players who joined Celtic at the same time.


Odin Holm (£2.25m, Valerenga)

Marco Tilio (£2m, Melbourne City)

Yang Hyun-jun (£2.1m, Gangwon FC)

Kwon Hyeok-kyu (£850,000, Busan I-Park)

Maik Nawrocki (£4.3m, Legia Warsaw)

Gustaf Lagerbiekle (£3m, Elfsborg)

Luis Palma (£3.5m, Aris Thessaloniki)

Nat Phillips (loan, Liverpool)

Paulo Bernardo (loan, Benfica)


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