Transfer window digest


Three matters to discuss today: players in, players out and players who stayed.

As the transfer window closed, the clear need in the squad was competition for our only left back, Greg Taylor.  There was never any doubt a player would arrive, but I am delighted (and maybe a bit surprised) we secured the loan signing of Uruguayan international, Diego Laxalt.

He will significantly bolster our effectiveness on the left, which will, in turn, make it more difficult for teams to double up on Jeremie Frimpong on the right, making Celtic far more effective.

You and I have talked through over 30 transfer windows.  I don’t think any will top ‘the Robbie Keane’ window in terms of general satisfaction, but this one comes close.  In Vasilis Barkas, Shane Duffy, Diego Laxalt, Albian Ajeti and Moi Elyounoussi, we have added five players who will be first choice in most games this season.  This is an exceptional return.  We have added more players in the past, but I don’t think we have ever added as many starters in a single window.

I know several Motherwell fans who speak very highly of David Turnbull.  His early Celtic performances have showed promise.  He is comfortable on the ball, very mobile and has a great set-piece delivery.  £3m is a lot to spend at a Scottish club but we will have scouted David more than anyone else who has arrived in recent years.  He should do well.

We got money for Eboue Kouassi – nothing like the £3m reported, but payment nonetheless.  The annual cull of youths who did not make the step up included Jack Aitchison.  Four years ago, Jack became the youngest player to represent Celtic in a competitive football game, and with true Roy Race style, scored with his first touch of the ball.  It was an exhilarating moment for us all.  Remember his name, it will appear in quizzes for the rest of your days.

Regrets?  There is one.  Fraser Forster will forever be a hero around these parts.  He has the unusual distinction of performing just as well in his second period at the club as his first, a talent some embittered pundits who scarcely put a shift in second time around would do well to consider.  He was the highest earner at Southampton when he arrived on loan a year ago; £4.5m annually.  Celtic were ready to do a deal involving the fee but the keeper prevaricated.  Still, as I say, forever a hero.

Fond farewell to Craig Gordon, Jozo Simunovic and Jonny Hayes, all of whom were part of treble successes.  Jozo is still without a club and will struggle to make the most of his talents due to injury impairment.

For me, the most surprising outcome of the window was that none of our contracted first choice players were sold, despite the economic situation.  Five agents were looking to move their clients south; my informed expectation was, at least one would have to go.

Buying and selling is a gamble, as is not doing so.  But, who could gamble with ‘the 10’?  When we report our financials soon, there will have been money for at year-end date, 30 June 2020.  That will be the last of having savings for some time, we are about to lurch into debt.

The economic headwinds look ominous.  Next year, season book renewals will not promote ‘the 10’ and aggregate supporter bank balances will be lower.  Like now, next season will also be one where the ‘supporters’ step up, perhaps not the more casual fans.

Upshot of all of this is that we are going to need to get a Champions League qualification and trading policy in place rapidly.  Celtic are better placed to meet these times than the vast majority of others; there will be better value in the player market, but only for those clubs who are prepared.

Welcome, Diego, and well played, Celtic.

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  1. Pingback: Transfer window digest Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  2. Lenny has a big decision to make at LWB for our next game, I’ve no doubt they have planned to face Taylor and will set up accordingly. If we can offer the same threat on the left as we will on the right then it changes the game, completely.



    I’m a bit surprised to hear we’re about to go into the red, it really is a headscratcher how Sevco with no cash reserves have managed to date. Admittedly we’ve higher costs but even so it’s difficult to understand.

  3. Good precis P67 and credit is due to those who scouted and secured the new cohort; impressive stuff.


    Two weeks for our tracksuit team to handle their side of the bargain ie find a system that allows our quality to put teams to the sword quicker and more decisively.


    Dont think 2 weeks of international break is enough to give a non-English speaking LB a debut in…una bautismo de fuego. Or does he only need to know ‘Man On’ and ‘Ma Ba’ ?

  4. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Haw – Boli !!!



    Pick a windae – yer leavin’








    Pick two – yer leavin’ in bits

  5. Loved Patryk’s goal on Sunday.



    That’s the kind of buckle swashing that i hope to see more of from the young man.

  6. Who’s the five then?



    1. Edouard


    2. Ntcham


    3. Christie


    4. McGregor


    5. Ajer



    Really surprised we have kept Ntcham tbh, is this due to other clubs not being cautious due to the current situation, or is this lack of interest?

  7. The pathway to the champions league (after winning the ten of course) is much shorter next year isn’t it?



    And then a guarantee the year after?

  8. Wee Nicola ‘ added restrictions required, but not a total lockdown, or restrictions on travel’

  9. Bhoylo83 – Two french clubs wanted him on loan yesterday.



    Neil likes him but Neil also shoehorns him and others into a strangely manufactured midfield. We’ve learnt enough that he and Brown don’t go together naturally.




  10. History repeats itself in the mind of der hun.



    Extremely confident of humping us next week.



    I hope we click and hammer them relentlessly into the ground.



    They are pretty obvious – 2 wing backs and 6 players occupying the middle of the park in 2 banks.



    Diego will force them to changing their doubling up on Frimpong but don’t kinow if he’s ready.

  11. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Just for the academic fitba’ chat – Paul says “…In Vasilis Barkas, Shane Duffy, Diego Laxalt, Albian Ajeti and Moi Elyounoussi, we have added five players who will be first choice in most games this season…”



    That may be true – plus or minus squad rotation – however, having brought in five first team starters doesn’t necessarily mean we have improved five positions in the team over last year.



    Some will be replacing those who have left – are they better / the same / not as good as those they replace?



    Have we strengthened or maintained strength in the squad overall? For instance:



    Is Duffy better than Big Jozo?



    Is Barkas better than Forster?



    Is Elyounoussi better than … Elyounoussi?



    Is Laxalt better than Boli and Taylor (no, I don’t mean together!!)



    Is Albian Ajeti better than…who???? Probably! He is – I think – a true ‘addition’ to the squad, rather than a replacement.



    As I say – just for the chat :-))






  12. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    FRED COLON on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 12:22 PM


    Loved Patryk’s goal on Sunday.





    Oh mate – how much did me and WeeBGFC love that goal?!?!?!



    Have watched it about 20 times – it looks like a special effect, he gets up so quickly! Brilliant goal and I’m so pleased for Patryk – really want him to do well.






  13. Good article. Agree that we have added real quality this time.



    Fully expect many of the new Bhoys to be awarded motm in due course.



    Jobo will, of course, advise.



    Over to our coaching staff now to get the best out of our superior squad

  14. Laxalt is 27 and an Uruguayan international having played for both Milan sides in his career. He should be starting if he’s fit imo.



    Lennon’s loyalty to players and his aversion to risk may see Taylor start but that makes us much easier to predict and set up against.

  15. Big Wavy



    I don’t want to start yet another Ntcham debate (he doesn’t do it for me) but I was convinced he would go because of the need to get money in and he is the one we would miss the least




  16. Is Duffy better than Big Jozo?



    Not really football-wise but Jozo was made of glass. We’ve also overcomplicated things as Julien & Duffy are complementary. Should have bought a left sided CH. Just to be clear I like Duffy’s positive qualities so can see why we got him.




    Is Barkas better than Forster?



    No. I like Barkas and seems great in crosses but as per Ferencvaros seems less of a shotstopper extraordinaire. Lost something there.




    Is Elyounoussi better than … Elyounoussi?



    Love the fella but one who has lost his funk from last year. Needs to play as a No. 10 behind 2 forwards. Lost on wing and can’t work with Eddie.




    Is Laxalt better than Boli and Taylor (no, I don’t mean together!!)



    Let’s see but has the qualities in his game to be an upgrade on Greg. If he clicks then that’s 2 great wing backs we have.



    Is Albian Ajeti better than…who???? Probably! He is – I think – a true ‘addition’ to the squad, rather than a replacement.



    Looks a brammer and I’d assume it’s a competition with the Griff who was on fire last winter. Play them all I say :)



    Great question. The 5 sub rule and the bench we have are 2 great differences from last season. They should allow us to be even more potent.




  17. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Cheers Big Wavy – your assessment were in complete agreement with my own (right down to the description of Jozo!)



    Some similar comments on the 5 sub rule a couple of days ago – I agree now (initially held a different view)






  18. Paul67



    Same old Celtic always signing.



    Dodgy start to the week for the Celtic cynic, wee bad bhoy Leigh pops up with the perfect header. Then project Patryk doesn’t let common assault get in the way of his latest goal.



    Celtic run rings round SMSM and shop late in Serie A, and it’s now almost customary we would never let a deadline Diego by without refreshing our squad.



    Being a Celtic cynic is a pure waste of time, and if you’ve seen the lowlights of Cheat FC v Ross County we’ll need all the millions spent, and some more in January.



    Truly miraculous, if Celtic overcome Hampden’s halls of corruption to complete 10 consecutive titles. Neil Lennon has been given the backing of 52,000 Celtic VST’s and the much maligned board, have filled the gaps in the squad.



    Down with the haters CSC




  19. CONNAIRE12 on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 11:52 AM


    Saint Stivs loved your tongue in cheek comments at 12.43. Wee biscuit will be proud of you.

  20. CONNAIRE12 on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 11:52 AM


    Saint Stivs loved your tongue in cheek comments at 12.43. Wee biscuit will be proud of you.







    high praise indeed, ta for that.



    The biscuit, ha.

  21. In the end….and it’s only the end that counts…a truly excellent transfer window.



    Chapeau. Now let’s start getting some silky performances from this array of talent.



    HH jg

  22. Pity about Jozo – I really though he looked the part when he came.



    Maybe he lost confidence due to injuries,



    Hopefully he can at leasdt get a pay-as-you-play deal.

  23. I think MAD MITCH,is Charlie Nicholas.



    “Edouarde is going nowhere.And you can take that to the bank”.Anyone remember those prophetic words from last week?


    I have to say,”Does not do irony well”is a phrase most often used when describing some Hun,spewing out his bile ,usually regarding our team.MAD MITCH,has taken it to a whole new level,telling SFTBs,that he is talking rubbish.

  24. Celtic has just issued a survey to season ticket holders asking questions about how comfortable they would be with various measures in and around the stadium for a return to watching live matches.



    Questions include travel arrangements, distancing, one-way systems, external toilets/catering, noise etc.

  25. `Personally I think that even if the LT was RIFOY some folk would CF to FTFs and just push their OA regardless of the FP. But everyone’s entitled to their Os.




    League Table, Right in front of you, CF is I think see fit, Fan the Flames, Own Agenda, FP? And Opinions




  26. The Hun game on the 17 th will be entirely different from any other played in the past.No fans will negate the tension for the players.Moreso,newcomers to the game,and all it entails.I would imagine that Diego will cruise through it like a kick about.Has to be played.Looking at the Huns defending cross balls,I would imagine Jullien and Shane will start.

  27. hrvratski jim



    What about arriving on a bike doon the London Road?


    They ask aboot that?

  28. 🙋‍♂️ Hi Fellow Celtic Fans! 😊



    VERY happy with this phenomenal Transfer Window, though great Window does not a great team make. (Yet…) ☺️



    Also delighted with the mutual compliments between Diego Laxalt and Olivier Ntcham. Hopefully with the prior experience of knowing each other and playing in the same team then we might see these two players click to the benefit of the team? 🤔 Here’s hoping! 😊



    Take Care, Keep Safe and Hail Hail! 😊



    TB&F. 😊 🍀

  29. It’s not whether Diego has the skill to do a good job, but if he cant meet his new international teammates and get a feel for their play; making a passing gaffe or positional mistake – esp in a defensive line where he doesnt understand terms and plays – could cost us and damn him on his first game.


    Am sure Neilly will go w his ‘reliables’ and maybe use Diego off the bench if we’re having bother on the left side.