Successfully prepare for the season in a dysfunctional industry


We’ve known for a while the strategic alliance Celtic have had with Manchester City, but how we have burrowed into the France international youth setup is, frankly, highly unlikely for a Scottish club.

First came Moussa, then Olivier.

Olivier Ntcham (21) will have known Moussa Dembele (21) from the French youth setup, and Patrick Roberts from their time at Man City. How both flourished at Celtic last season was a prime motivator for the player to head north.

With Olivier and Moussa flourishing in Glasgow, Brendan Rodgers was able to convince a third French youth international, Odsonne Edouard (19), to come to Celtic. We are now an attractive destination for players graduating from one of the world’s most productive international academy environments.

Edouard is here on loan. Celtic have the option secured with both Paris Saint-Germain and the player to turn this into a permanent transfer, should he developed as hoped over the next season.

The story is a little more complicated than just this, however. Odsonne was convicted of shooting someone with an air gun in July and given a suspended sentence. This, frankly, is grossly irresponsible and a suspended sentence is one of the better outcomes for Odsonne. Whatever influences were in his life leading up to this point, a new course needs to be taken in Glasgow.

I have no doubt that this conviction thinned the heard of some potential suitors, unprepared to take the risk on him. He has a year to develop his potential and set himself a new course. If he does, Celtic will acquire a remarkable talent for what in the current market, is a snip.

Patrick Roberts back on loan means that we have retained all first team players from last season, while augmenting the squad with several others. Patrick agreed terms to join permanently, but Manchester City were not prepared to let him go. They, like many others, believe there could be enormous potential on Celtic’s right wing this season. What happens next summer is too far away to contemplate with any certainty.

Jonny Hayes now looks third choice for the right wing slot, but he’s more likely to be utilised as backup for Scott Sinclair on the left. While Patrick Roberts was pursued throughout the summer, we were always going to have to wait until City made their decisions. This left us with only James Forrest for the right wing position for the qualifiers – and James is no stranger to injury. Jonny was available early in the window, so was an appropriate acquisition.

Kundai Benyu (19) arrived from Ipswich after a season on loan at Aldershot. Like Hayes, he can cover for Sinclair in left mid.

Rivaldo Coetzee (20) is the one that got away. He would have competed with Kristofer Ajer for the fourth central defender berth. With Simunovic fit, and Boyata and Sviatchenko both back from injury this month, there was no chance of us splurging big on a central defender. A strategic purchase, like Coetzee, was another matter.

The litmus test for any transfer window is, did we come out of it better than we went into it? Such outcomes are seldom evident the day after the window closes, but having retained all, and added such potential, we have delivered.

What we need to do now is develop Ntcham, Edouard and the others, win the league, perform well in the Champions League, and solidify our position as a club where outstanding talent will flourish and succeed. This is what success looks like for an economically disenfranchised giant in a highly dysfunctional industry.



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    Celtic should be drawing attention to the growing catalogue of serious assaults on KT.



    Most of which are not punished with the severity set out in the laws of the game.



    The club has a major asset,the game in Scotland has a major asset. He doesn’t need protection,but he needs to know that he doesn’t face being assaulted-with impunity!-every time he pulls on the jersey.

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    Celtic should be drawing attention to the growing catalogue of serious assaults on KT.





    Hear Hear.



    Mind you , I see that Jayden Stockley has scuttled back South before somebody marked his card.

  3. Magnificentseven on

    Have the weans stopped greeting yet about not getting a central defender for transfer window Christmas

  4. Very good article Paul, thanks. I also agree that whilst we are concentrating on developing players the referree situation needs addressed. KT has already had a broken leg and Jaw (nearly got another one last week) at his workplace, these hammer throwers need to be chucked out of the game.

  5. Have we came out the window stronger – yes and that should be applauded.



    Did we sign players in all the positions that were needed to take us to the next level – definitely not.

  6. traditionalist88 on

    This is what success looks like for an economically disenfranchised giant in a highly dysfunctional industry.






    Big words.



    Then some more big words.



    Too hard. Lets cut the club no slack at all.



    Probably didnt even try to sign Paddy permanently.






    The game is rigged. But wheres my new defender BTW!



    A day in the life of CQN

  7. Paul 67,



    Yes it seems we are the first choice for rehabilitation. From the Griff to Callum McGregor we can turn round careers.


    I am excited by Odsonne Edouard , if he listens, accepts guidance and learns he could potentially become a superstar. The raw skill is there.



    I sometimes think, that if only Tony Watt had such guidance .






    Ps : Try and make a song up for that handle.

  8. Content with the window – BR says we almost bought wee Paddy for 8 mill- huge backing from the club.



    BTW – getting a centre half was difficult enough, but when you think that Jonny Evans (29) was being touted at between 20 and 30 million – MAD, CRAZY, LUNACY.

  9. Tapping into that young French market is a very shrewd move for Celtic, as the “big teams” get even “bigger” financially it’s seems a smart move for us to keep us in the game so to speak..



    Brendan has had three windows and in my opinion has done very well so far considering the markets we move in and by this time next summer I imagine we would be seeing a team in Brendan’s likeness..



    And now we’ve got the transfer window out of the way, what are the SFA up to these days?

  10. Greenpinata


    Players also need to want to learn / change / adapt – either that or Tony has been unlucky with the several managers he’s worked under.


    Will still have a place in our hearts for the Barca skelping

  11. Cultsbhoy says Hail Hail to Hector and Brendan on

    I agree KT gets it from a lot of older inferior players..I wonder if he’s a wind up merchant?



    Not that its,any kind of excuse tonopenly assault a young player..

  12. For “a highly dysfunctional industry” read one where a club pays half a million pounds for a 14 year old kid, and then sells him on three years later as a 17 year old who has never played a professional first team game of football… for £10 million!






    And to think that we were about to break our (incoming) record transfer fee by 33% to sign Patrick Roberts for a figure some 20% smaller than Borussia Dortmund have just paid Man City for this relatively unproven kid!

  13. The transfer window may or may not have gone well – depends if you’re a glass half-full or half-empty




    But one thing there is no denying….




    We are in the middle of the biggest slump since our last big slump.




    By next Friday we will have gone almost three weeks since our last win




    Brendan must go

  14. Starry Plough



    About the SFA.



    One rumour I heard is that if a Scotland lose to Lithuania Regan will resign.



    Better to jump before pushed.

  15. Shamelessly re posted from the last blog,







    Have a wee sneaking suspicion that some of the “Grassers”alluded to by Mr Tony Donnelly,cant really be blamed,as they were school janitors for 30 years.



    Smiles galore.





    TGM,just gets a bit grumpy,but a great Tim.How can anyone not collapse with laughter,at the likes of”Take a hike,Bawheid”.If that had been directed at me,I would still be smiling.




    From the keypad of Tony Donnelly





    And the thing about it is, you know (well I did) who done the Victor McGlachlan on you, but haven’t the Dennis Laws to put they’r hands up to doing it, a don’t like that, but that’s jist me.





    The Victor Mc Glachlan !!!!!!!!. Tony,you are a star.My jaws are aching.

  16. I think KT has to stick up for himself a bit more although I don’t think there’s much he could have done about Stockley’s assault, but if someone is having a go and sticking the boot in sometimes the only way to combat that is to give them a taste of their own medicine and maybe they think twice about their actions next time






  17. Cultsbhoy says Hail Hail to Hector and Brendan on

    Celtic the stepping stone…a great lure for elite players in the making ..it also means we will be courted by the EPL biggies.. we are the perfect test bed so long as we get regular European football.


    An exciting model..

  18. saltires en sevilla on

    Great lead Paul67!



    A good window retaining the Invincibles and bolstered by some great prospects



    ‘Thinning the ‘Herd’ …shurely;-)

  19. Gene @12.35 hrs.



    Very true re Tony.



    On a slightly different note, I think it’s far more enjoyable watching youngsters develop than signing aging ” superstars” who have always wanted to play for Celtic or play at Parkhead.




  20. I don’t think Celtic should have been spending big on a 4th choice centre back but signing a first choice centre back better than what we have should have been our main priority over the summer.


    I am not denying that we have came out of the transfer window stronger than we went into it and the importance of keeping our top players should not be underestimated. I am delighted to have Paddy back and I think Ntcham has been a wonderful addition and looks top drawer. However for me even before the injuries the weakest part of our side was the centre of our defence. Nothing that has happened since then has changed my mind on that.

  21. Go tell the Spartim on




    Im not convinced that Coatzee/Ajer would be pushing for the 4th CB spot, i think is perfectly evident that we were looking to punt Erik and may do so in the future. Erik, for my part, isn’t fast enough for BR’s liking, although im always at a loss as to why he’s played on the left, esp left of the back 3 on occasions as this does him no favours at all. Hopefully he can rediscover his early Celtic form as i have a suspicion we might go 3/5 at the back in some of the European games

  22. It’s been a very good transfer window overall. All key players have been retained and it’s great that we have Paddy, Ntcham and Edouard to bolster our Champions League campaign. I also think Jonny Hayes will prove to be a good squad player, particularly when we will have to get through a lot of games over the winter months.



    A centre back would’ve made it a perfect window. I believe the club genuinely tried on that front and the Coetzee failed medical was rank bad luck.



    No doubt NegaYawn2 will be along any minute now to tell us all how we are being taken for idiots by our he evil board

  23. This terrible defence that we are being told by some we have,just how many goals did they concede last season?.I never heard anyone moaning about the defence last season.in fact,all we read about was the fantastic change in form of Boyatta,and how good a CH big Jozo was.


    Even in the CL group,i dont think our back 4 ever played together.I will say,IMHO,that we could not afford either CH now.


    Funny how a Transfer Window can make people forget.




    Aidan Nesbit to MK Dons last night was number 28 out in the window

  25. BARRYBHOY on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2017 12:54 PM


    I don’t think Celtic should have been spending big on a 4th choice centre back but signing a first choice centre back better than what we have should have been our main priority over the summer.




    This,just a follow on from my last post about our CHs.


    Barry,just who do you think we could have got in better than the two we have?.We all saw the ridiculous prices for CHs being paid .You have to remember BR just does not want a “Hoofer”up the park CH.He wants ball playing ones.These are not cheap as everyone,apart from the Huns,wants them.I trust BR looked at every possibility,and came up short.Thats life.Maybe January.

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