Lagerbielke arrives not a minute too soon


Celtic’s summer spend continued yesterday with the arrival of 23-year-old Swedish central defender Gustaf Lagerbielke from Elfsborg for a reported £3m fee.  At 1.93m, Gustav is tall, 8cm taller than Cameron Carter-Vickers and Maik Nawrocki, only Christopher Jullien (1.96m) was taller in recent times.

Across the squad Celtic are a small team.  Purists who still marvel at that Barcelona side will tell you they were the best team ever and the shortest European champions of the 21st century, so height does not make a difference if you are good enough.  You will, though, remember that Celtic scored three goals against Barcelona in our 2012 Champions League games, two were from high crosses.  At the very least, we need tall central defenders, if not full backs and strikers.

When all are fit and games really matter, Maik and Gustaf will compete for a spot beside Cameron.  Normally, I would be reluctant to push a new arrival straight into a big game, but Sunday is worthy of consideration.  Cameron retired at halftime after straining a hamstring at Pittodrie, he is not out of contention for the trip to Kilmarnock.  He is, however, so critical to Celtic, if he misses the important games next month, it would be a huge blow to the club.

If this was a league game, I would have no hesitation in playing both new central defenders, it is early enough in the season to be able to take a risk.  Our League Cup is, however, on the line.   I dont’s subscribe to the ‘It’s only the League Cup’ view so cherished by losers.  If Celtic were knocked out of a cup tournament in August, it would give an unwelcome boost to everyone else in Scottish football.  Fragile managers would see their chance of survival by winning a few more games and collecting some silverware.  Brendan has a big decision to make.

Welcome to Celtic, Gustaf.  Your arrival is not a minute too soon.

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  1. So ignore Stephen Welsh as an option?



    Not his biggest fan but thought he played well when he came on and not great man management to bin him straight way for a debutant.



    Sunday’s gonna be ugly. It’s the McInnes & Killie home style way.




  2. Welsh is surely more than good enough to play this weekend? Let Gustaf have a week or so of training to settle in a bit.

  3. St Johnstone at home in 9 days time is of far bigger importance than a LC tie on a dodgy pitch. Its vitally important we arrive at Ibrox with at least our 3 point lead intact, and preferably with a few goals to spare in the goals plus column.



    Them going top by beating us at Ibrox would be of far greater significance to them/us than a LC loss. Prioritise St J to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  4. ‘Brendan has a big decision to make.’



    I don’t see it that way Paul. He will play Maik and Welshy – not becos Welshy become a revelation in hibernation – but becos he well kens what Killie will get up to and he notionally has the grit to handle it.


    Macchiavellian McInnes could just ambush a callow young viking like Gus on his celtic debut.




    Aside, I see Jack Butlins is getting some decent review for THEMS. Has the profile of what we actually need atm,



  5. DENIABHOY on 17TH AUGUST 2023 1:26 PM


    Any updates on where Livakovic is going? Rumourd and counter rumourd seems to have dried up.




    His team play the second leg of the CL round, v AEK athens, on Saturday. They are 2-1 down from first leg. If they exit, there might be some activity for the keeper.

  6. I think I’d play Lagerbielke against Killie. I think they’d be the preferred pairing two weeks later against Sevco, so the sooner the better for them to play together. He’ll be match fit and also used to sometimes playing on plastic, though maybe not one as bad as Lillie’s (hope it pours on Sunday). Whichever pairing is a new one.

  7. bournesouprecipe on




    Stephen Welsh has the same transfer rumoured valuation as Lagerbielke’s fee, interesting choices for Brendan. Don’t Elfsborg have a plastic pitch, which would suit Gustav for Sunday.

  8. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    This isn’t a dilemma for me.



    That said I’m not paid to call it.



    Cameron isn’t comfortable on carpet?



    And is recovering from a medium term injury?



    He’s out of contention.



    From (admittedly feeble) memory, Stephen Welsh doesn’t perform great on carpet.



    Some Swedish pitches are carpet?



    Play Maik and Gustaf.

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Calum, Greg, Tony and Joe to guide them through the game.



    If our front eight perform (and it is an IF) we’ll score three goals.

  10. I take it we’re not adopting my song then….



    That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat



    I really love your Lagerbielke, I really love your Lagerbielke



    Your Lagerbielke



    Your Lagerbielke



    Your Lagerbielke





    Well, alright

  11. If we believe Beale isn’t up to much then why are we concerning ourselves about him getting more time ? Shirley, that’s to our benefit ?



    With 40 million up for grabs for winning the league, I’d personally rather have 3 points at Ibrox and 6 point lead as get to the last 8 of the league Cup.



    Let’s do both by all means but priorities shoud lie with Ibrox.

  12. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the Crystal Palace, old Glasgow Town. It’s a wonderful life.

  13. AuroraBorealis79 on




    “I see Jack Butlin is getting rave reviews for them”



    So did joey barton

  14. As some of you may recall, I have asked if anyone had a couple of tickets together for the 26th at CP. I am visiting my Mum and hoping to take my boy to a game.



    On previous thread this morning, there was some comments on Ticket sharing and the fact Celtic had no plans to introduce such a scheme despite other clubs doing it successfully. Any thoughts on what the obstacles are? As pointed out, it would probably help 2 or 3000 people fill the empty seats when season book holders can’t make a game. The St J Game is now listed as a sell out. When tickets went on sale, there was not an option to buy two tickets together yet we know there will be plenty of empty seats on the day




  15. AuroraBorealis79 on

    Looks like the media & Derek mcinnes ate setting the ball in motion for a killie pen this weekend

  16. I see World Rugby is to appeal against the decision by the Independent Panel (6 Nations) to overturn Owen Farrell’s red card. As B78 pointed out Farrell has a history of making the shoulder-head challenge. In fact he had to attend a “tackle school” (no jokes please) earlier this year. For Farrell read Shearer.

  17. Kobyashi played a great game to much acclaim on here in our 4-1 at Kilmarnock the last time.



    Just saying….

  18. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Do not risk CCV’s hamstring on that pitch.



    If Welsh can’t be relied on to come in and do job he shouldn’t be at Celtic.

  19. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Correct Elfsborg play on an artificial surface, so shouldn’t be a problem for the new bhoy.

  20. I don’t think CCV will play against Killie, I’d much rather he was fit for the St Johnstone game, therefore Stephen Welsh and Gus (if he’s assessed as match fit) would be my pick for Central defence.


    The only other change I’d make is in midfield, I’d play Odin with Calmac and MOR.



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