Nick Hammond, who was made temporary Head of Recruitment early in the summer, became permanent Head of Football Operations yesterday. Considering he landed at the 11th hour, his work during the summer window was encouraging.
Christopher Jullien arrived for big money (for Celtic) but is looking the part in central defence. On paper, Hatem Elhamed was an odd signing, but he has more than delivered above expectations. Compare and contrast to the more-celebrated right back, Jeremy Toljan, who arrived in January before drifting into squad obscurity soon thereafter.
Boli Bolingoli came through a torrid start to life at Celtic but has been solid for weeks, while on-loan Moritz Bauer is challenging Hatem for the right back role. Mohamed Elyounoussi’s arrival was an odd one. I expected this to be Mikey Johnston’s major breakthrough season, so Mohamed’s arrival puzzled me. Mikey’s subsequent injury has given the on-loan left-mid player the opportunity to make the position his own.
I expect Nick had a smaller role in the recruitment of Greg Taylor and Fraser Forster, but he would have been central to the arrivals of Luca Connell, Jonathan Afolabi and Lee O’Connor.
January could be Nick’s ‘difficult second album’. There will inevitably be patches in the squad to be covered but the more important job is qualification for next season’s Champions League. Work on that should already be underway.
Foundation Sleep Out at Celtic Park
Every year an increasingly large number of souls do more than just raise money for our homeless and poor, they sleep under a cold Glasgow sky. The event, which is a critical part of the Celtic FC Foundation’s Christmas Appeal, next takes place on 16 November.
You spend between 10pm and 6am in the company of other Celtic fans who want to connect with our club’s founding cause, as well as one of modern society’s most pernicious scourges. As I say about so many things your Foundation does, getting involved is a fulfilling and uplifting experience.
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