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Transfer window digest

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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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368 Comments

  1. !!BADA BING!! on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 1:41 PM

     

    James Forrest out for 4-6 weeks. Scan results have shown stress fracture in ankle.

     

     

     

     

    So, for all our good work, we are one injury to Frimpong (and it’s in the post) from ? at RW?

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

    Poor Wee Jimmy.

     

     

    Back, rested and firing for busy December period.

     

     

    Hope wee Jeremy survives the ongoing assaults.

     

     

    Teammates need to start protecting him – badger refs, extract revenge…

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  3. It’s a bit Groucho marx – ‘ I wouldn’t sign a player who wanted to join us’ but it’s strange that Laxalt can’t get a club in one of the big 5 leagues.

     

     

    We are an attractive club when there’s a full house at CP for a European night but that’s not the case atm.

     

     

    Hopefully – I will be wrong.

     

     

    He will have that bit of devilment all Uruguayan defenders have.

  4. QUADROPHENIAN on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 1:35 PM

     

    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.

     

    ……………………….

     

     

    I absolutely agree with that. We need to introduce Diego sensibly to the team. We don’t want him to be blamed for a howler in his first game that will damage his confidence.

  5. That Diego `howler` would have to actually happen .

     

     

    ” I didn`t select Diego in case he made a mistake.”

     

     

    That would go down well, wouldn`t it?

  6. Shocking news re James Forrest especially in view of the fact that Neil Lennon admitted that he had played with the injury problem for two or three weeks beforehand. Indeed he could not continue in his last game. Not a whole lot different to a player now at Arsenal. Total lack of professionalism from our management team and it has to be said by both Forrest and Tierney.

  7. Still think that we need a left sided centre half , as Ajer is not the answer. We could maybe try Julien there . With Elhammed on the right

  8. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    Arsenal Quick News raging with Kieran Tierney celebrating the opening goal by Saka with only a clenched fist.

     

    Obviously KT wanted to be the hero and score the goal instead, maybe he doesn’t like Saka or it’s obvious he wants to play elsewhere……..

     

     

    ;-)

  9. PETETHEBEAT on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:00 PM

     

     

    Indeed, why would anyone want to come for the ten and European football and further their game?

     

     

    Devilment indeed.

  10. hrvatski/big george

     

     

    i’ve just completed the ST Holder survey on limited fan return. Good questionnaire and it surfaces some of the ideas they have e.g. outside toilets/food, queuing, print at home tickets (assume they turn off ST card to stop having to check you are allowed in)

     

     

    My main comment was to give enough time to let folks who can’t go reject the slot and have it re-allocated

     

     

    Selfishly, i also said not to make it locals only but i suspect it will be

  11. What is Diego’s disciplinary history?

     

     

    It probably doesn’t matter because the Scottish refs will be fighting to book him for the any indiscretion however minimal.

  12. weebobbycollins on

    Everyone moans some of the time…but some just moan all of the time…

     

    Is it male menopause or some other dissatisfaction?

  13. TOBAGO STREET on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 1:17 PM

     

    `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

     

     

    T

     

    ————————-

     

     

    I think CF is Create Facts; FP facts presented

  14. ST TAMS on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:20 PM

     

    Still think that we need a left sided centre half , as Ajer is not the answer. We could maybe try Julien there . With Elhammed on the right

     

     

    —-

     

     

    Should have bought one. Not sure we have the balance in the back 3 to play it against good opposition.

  15. Diego Laxalt looked good in the video,but when you factor in the challenges like Patrick got

     

    against st Johnstone,

     

    He will have to release ,offload the ball a lot quicker.

     

    As these a holes are going to go right through him, even when the ball has gone.

     

    All this with the refs approval.

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

  17. CELTIC MAC on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 1:29 PM

     

     

    Ironically, I did check out Celtic Park for bike racks and they do have one near the superstore. Fine for a sunny afternoon in spring or autumn but I don’t fancy making my way back home on a December night.

     

     

    At least, the club is making plans for a return to the stadium albeit I don’t see any crowds of real size this season.

  18. Strangely the media is Not hounding the SFA or St Johnstone for the player tackle on Patryk

     

    Why is that 🤔

  19. BIG WAVY

     

     

    You’re right about Champions League qualification. Losing a league title always hurts but there will be a sickening irony if during our nine title wins we struggle to qualify then Rangers win one title and go straight to the groups.

     

     

    Aside from doing 10IAR, the next season or two is massive. Rangers have put so much into stop-the-ten, I believe if we win it again this season, we could be looking at 11, 12, 13….who knows?

     

     

    However, if they get their hands on the CL riches, we could be looking at a genuine two-horse race again – on and off the pitch.

  20. Cause he got up and scored , so it proved not to be a bad tackle, cause of it was he would have been rolling about like a shot ( change the o for an I ) 😜 columbian …

  21. I attended the last game against Rangers on 29 December when we lost 1-2. I recorded the game on the telly hoping to enjoy watching it after a victory when I returned home but it wasn’t to be. The game was awash with incidents so I kept the recording to watch later when my disappointment had dissipated. With another game at home against them due next week, I decided last night to grit my teeth, gird my loins and have a look at the recording to see what lessons could be learned.

     

     

    The first lesson is that we need to be more proactive and less passive. The Huns were very obviously primed to claim absolutely everything and get in the ref’s face about every decision. We claimed very little and broadly accepted decisions. The winning goal was scored because of this. Rangers took a corner and a number of players challenged for it. It came off a Rangers player and went out of play. A goal kick should have been given but all of their players threw up their arms and yelled at the Kevin Clancy who then awarded a corner to them after it looked like he was going to give us the goal kick. None of our players claimed for a goal kick. Katic scored from the corner. Ajer, his marker, jumped along with him but at his highest the top of his head only reached Katic’s shoulder. Katic attacked the ball but Ajer was only interested in preventing Katic getting to the ball.

     

     

    Point 2: Their first goal scored by Kent came from a Barasic pass from the left. There was no Celtic player within 5 yards of Barasic trying to put pressure on the ball and prevent it coming into our box. This was a theme throughout the game. They managed to get the ball into our box fairly easily, for us it proved much more difficult. They defended in numbers and prevented the Celtic player in possession getting a clear sight of space/colleagues in the box. We need to work on this for the next game.

     

     

    Our goal was fortuitous as the result of a deflection and the wrong man, Christie, took the penalty when it should have been Edouard or McGregor. Julian was extremely unfortunate with two headers from corners. He made great connections and beat McGregor but Davis headed both off the goal line. Ajer, from the bye line, fired another ball across goal and Jullien just failed to connect with it. It was the exact same height and position as Griff scored from on Sunday.

     

     

    Throughout the game our two best players and the only two who matched the commitment of Rangers were Brown and McGregor. Mikey Johnston tried very hard to provide a spark but it rarely came off for him but it was obvious that Rangers saw him as a threat and paid close attention to him. Frimpong had a poor first half but was very good in the second. Celtic created a lot of danger down the right and Rangers had real problems coping with Frimpong’s pace. What was obvious though was that Rangers were very successful from keeping Frimpong out of their box. Barasic, Kamara and Davis surrounded him before he got into the box.

     

     

    It was clear that some Rangers players didn’t relish going into a challenge with Brown. James Forrest, whom I’m a big fan of, hardly touched the ball between 15 minutes and 68 minutes when he was subbed. Julienne apart from his efforts on goal was appalling defensively as was Ajer. Morelos continuously ragdolled Jullien and forced him to concede a series of needless fouls in front of our box which allowed Barasic opportunities to hit dangerous dead balls.

     

     

    As I said earlier we were too passive in claiming, we seemed to lack the energy and confidence that Rangers had and we found it difficult to string passes together, especially in the first half. We absolutely need to play with a second striker to occupy Helander and Golding. They had it too easy against Eduard on his own. We didn’t get anything out of James Forrest and Bolingoli and not enough from Mikey Johnston or Ryan Christie.

     

     

    Neil Lennon and his staff need to watch this game again and give the players a gigantic kick up the backside before the game on the 17th. We need to prevent them getting crosses into our box and we need to cut off the supply chain to Morelos. He picks up the ball in a variety of positions along the front line and our big guys find it difficult to cope with his low centre of gravity. I noticed something when N’tcham came on as a sub. Morelos picked up the ball in front of the north stand and ran towards our goal. N’tcham ran alongside him for about 10 yards not putting in a challenge and then, as cool as you please, took the ball off him and passed it back to one of our defenders. Maybe we should try deploying a marker who will do something like that instead of going into challenges with the eventual foul, free kick, yellow card and everything else that ensues. Anyway, I’m hoping for a huge change in the level of performance next week. I also apologise if I’ve brought back painful memories.

  22. CM @ 2.17

     

     

    Old JF and his significant injury problems — we do not look like a professional outfit on top of all our issues and concerns.

     

     

    The KT story was bad enough as it made us look second rate.

     

     

    Now this story to come out where it was obvious to most that he had issues and needed rest.

     

    Explains why his normal game was so poor while he managed two pieces of brilliance over the past 3 weeks — his mind was on the injury but when the adrenaline kicked in he responded by instinct.

     

     

    Do we have much of physio department / a medical department / a data analysis department?

     

    Not getting the feeling that we are an EPL ready club slumming it in the SPL.

     

    We have the appearance of a SPL club winging it on the cheap.

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

    CONEYBHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:27 PM

     

    hrvatski/big george

     

    Selfishly, i also said not to make it locals only but i suspect it will be

     

    ———————————

     

    …as long as ‘local’ includes The Plains :-))

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  24. 2019/20 season — both games against the TFOD2 produced very bookie friendly results.

     

     

    First game — the TFOD2 were ahead in the betting.

     

    Second game — from memory we were well ahead in the betting stakes.

     

     

    Both games produced unexpected results.

     

    Well not the first game but they did not turn up.

  25. Happy news today as my oldest daughter gave birth to a bouncing baby ghirl(8.5lbs) Saskia arrived at 4.am a few hours late to share her birthday with me. very happy with the transfer window and our new left back Diego Laxalt hope we can soon be safely back watching the bhoys in the stadium.HH

  26. Next year, I’m going to produce cards that say ‘Happy Transfer Deadline Day’.

     

     

    I should clean up.

  27. Welcome little Saskia and congrats to a happy grandad…

     

     

    Although why she wasn’t named Diego Sebastian Saskia is beyond me :)

  28. onenightinlisbon on

    THEORIGINALSADIESBHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 3:41 PM

     

     

    Brilliant summation of the game, many thanks for doing that.

     

     

    I remember thinking at the time they looked much more up for it than us and so it proved….

  29. BGFC

     

     

    😁

     

     

    I just meant Scotland (I live in Ireland) but i think they might be setting some sort or range on it. They seem to be encouraging walking, cars, bikes and avoiding public transport such that no extra risk is put on the public or on supporter’s buses.

     

     

    Can’t see it till after Christmas in reality

     

     

    Ireland just went on Level 3 restrictions which means no travel out of county (apart from essential work), restaurants can only serve outside to 15 people, pubs which had just opened are closed again apart from carry out or outside table.

     

     

    That’s my trip over on the 17th scuppered (would have been in the pub watching the game but at least i could meet some pals that weekend). Wife said i couldn’t go anyway due to 14 isolation running into Oct hols. UK is still on the Irish naughty list

     

     

    hail hail