The January transfer window pretty much passed Celtic by this year, a tacit indication that the league is over and we have little to play for. Jonjoe Kenny (23) arrived on loan from Everton yesterday, by all accounts a good prospect who should up our game, but there will be no transformational change.
Kenny will permit Kristopher Ajer to return to central defence, however, with Christopher Jullien long-term injured, do not expect an end to bizarre defensive performances anytime soon.
Jeremie Frimpong took his potential off to Leverkusen for a sum few of us could believe. Whatever happens to the player, it was a good move for Celtic. The full back positions have been one of several underperforming areas this season. Jeremie, for all his speed and skill, could not match Ajer’s ability to get a cross into the box. He is only 20 and will improve, but we do not have the luxury of waiting for that to happen. The reported £11m (minus Man City cut) will be a welcome contribution towards a gaping deficit.
Just as I did with Jeremie, early in the season I lavished praise on the abilities of Olivier Ntcham. Like Frimpong, he has abundant talent, but successive managers have failed to get a consistent performance from him. Olivier will look at others who have retained their positions with performance well below his lowest level with good reason. He was not given the chances afforded to others, but that does not make him good enough. Pittodrie did it for me. I hope he flourishes in France.
I don’t know if Ben Davies is Preston class, Celtic class or Liverpool class. He was an unlikely target for a team aiming to win the English Premier League and the Champions League. Signing quality players on a free contract is the fastest way to improve your lot in football. It has been years since we have profited from this strategy. We didn’t get Davies over the line, so clearly this strategy needs to be reinforced.
Tonight’s opponents, Kilmarnock, have won only one of their previous five, a 2-0 victory over Hamilton. Of course, our 2-0 win over Hamilton was our only triumph in six outings last month. It has all the makings of a drunken 2am street brawl. How’s about it, Celtic, give us a performance?