After a flurry of transfer activity, it was reassuring to hear Brendan Rodgers say “We will look to do more business, January is important for us.” We have brought in players who will help us with domestic and European challenges this season, but the strategic objective of arriving at the Champions League qualifiers with strong central defensive choices remains.
While the manager is in Dubai, Celtic scouts are busy on this task. The previous two transfer windows saw Marvin Compper and Jack Hendry arrive on permanent contracts but fail to impress. Getting players in is not the problem, but signing players capable of competing in Champions League qualification games is another matter.
Our most reliable method of recruiting central defenders in recent seasons has been loans from English Premier League teams’ younger ranks. We have a reputation there for improving defenders, adding value for Manchester City and Leicester. It would be better to add value to our own playing assets, but squads can have both strategically consistent players (Vakoun Issouf Bayo) and short-term patches (Filip Benkovic).
Would we get a better player through this method than buying on the open market? Probably.