In 1998, MSV Duisburg sold Celtic 33-year-old Lubomir Moravcik. Yesterday, Celtic returned the favour by selling Duisburg 34-year-old Marvin Compper. I think we did the better of the exchange. Marvellous Marvin, as he was never known at Celtic, goes into the annuals of Celtic history alongside the likes of Rafael Sheidt and Dmitri Kharine.
In the summer of 2017 Dedryck Boyata made it clear he would not sign a new contract, Celtic acknowledged this. No promises were made (they never are, of course), but Celtic intimated they would try to backfill.
The plan was to have a replacement at the club in January 2018, allowing Dedryck to be sold. Marvin was scouted, went through the approval process and was purchased. It took less than 83 minutes for Brendan Rodgers to decide the player was not suitable for Celtic. For all his brilliance, this episode is emblematic of the glaring weakness of Brendan Rodgers management: recruitment.
The consequences of this were significant. Dedryck did not get his move last summer. As a consequence, he went on strike, placing the first poison in the well that month. He missed the Champions League qualification defeat to AEK Athens, leaving Jack Hendry to fill the gap. Sentiment in the dressing room was not what it should have been during the most important weeks of the season.
Whatever tally you are keeping on the cost of Compper, you have to consider the liability of a central defender on strike when we go out of the Champions League to a cross ball-goal.
Neil Lennon seems keen on Rapid Vienna left back Boli Mbombo, who he hopes to sign within the next 24 hours. Before we get too carried away, remember, we lost both a left back and a right back this summer. I expect at least three full backs coming in, even if we don’t lose a further player.