We seem to have a lot of forwards. Stokes, Pukki, Balde, new recruit Fridjonsson, and on-loan, Atajic and Watt, while Georgios may yet stay beyond the summer. That’s six under contract for the Champions League qualifiers, not counting Sweden’s ‘next Henrik Larsson’, who is likely to move on soon.
Quantity is one thing but cost is just as important, only Samaras and Pukki are likely to be on wages competitive with some of the richer leagues in Europe, so the actual spend on forwards is likely to be considerably less than on defence or midfield. The manager is likely to be operating within budget for this area of the team.
What we’re missing is an on-form striker who is capable of embarrassing St Johnstone and Inverness’s finest with their goals-to-games ratio, not to mention our own free-wheeling creative-mid. Gone are the days Celtic strikers stats are dismissed as a mere by-product of the sheer volume of chances they are presented with. Without a class act up front, the squad is unbalanced.
There was a note of disappointment in Neil Lennon’s voice when he spoke of missing a potential signing last week. I’m almost certain we’ll sign a striker this week but if he’s more of a hunch than a certified target we’re wasting our money. Hunch signings are fine but you can only give space to so many in any one season. We’ve made our low-cost gambles up front, and there is never a time for a high-cost uncertified gamble.
Celtic have a bit of money burning a hole in their pocket earning 15% interest from the Co-op Bank at the moment. The desire to spend it, from chief exec, to manager, to scouts and all other influencers will be practically unstoppable, which is why I’m so sure we’ll sign someone. Time will tell if we experience buyers regret.
Reminder to everyone who booked tickets for the CQteN St Patrick’s Day Dinner that they have to be paid by 31 January. Let me know if you can’t find details, firstname.lastname@example.org[calameo code=000390171bffb0dd3dc4f lang=en page=128 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]