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. Mad Mitch


    “The old Forrest injury problems FFS,you are going back a bit there.When was the last time he was injured,for any length of time.As usual,you post shit,hoping that no one will dig you up.Sorry,I will not let you post your guff without reply.You are an idiot.

  2. CELTIC MAC on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:17 PM


    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.





    You’re assuming that the injury he has had for past two or three weeks is the same one which has now side lined him, it might be but then again it might not be and is not related. Better to wait for evidence that he did indeed play with the same injury for a few weeks (which wasn’t investigated/taken seriously) before condemnation.


    Hail, hail!

  3. Fellas



    I’m not a fan of a team being ‘up for it more than the other’….often looks that way.



    They had a plan and a system that they operated well against us. Got the breaks.



    We, on the other hand, didn’t, beyond a hope that talent trumps all.



    Our central defenders, from memory, looked utterly unprotected from the centre of midfield.




  4. Sister has had a headache for 4 days. A school teacher in Glasgow with 6 x 25 kids per class a day. Has to do her own cleaning, enforcement etc.



    Called the doc this AM, day 4 of headache. Explained symptoms. Doc said could be tension headache but could also be a feature of Covid. Lay low for 48 hrs the doc said, no Covid test allowed as not in the ‘classic’ symptoms.



    High risk environment, no test allowed. We all remember when we were told no schools to open until Covid secure environments?



    All bull.

  5. PAUL67


    Hate to be pedantic, but I don’t think you meant that Forster ‘prevaricated.’ That would mean he lied. I think you meant he ‘procrastinated’, and put off a decision.





    It’s ‘dilapidated’ not ‘delapidated.’



    There! Now I feel better!

  6. we have a replacement for Jeremy,IF he gets injured.Dembele.So Lenny better get him onside ASAP.


    WEe cannot run our club in the precis,that,”What if”.We cannot have 3 players for one position,in case one gets injured,then another,fantasy stuff.We keep getting told by the keyboard managers that we have too much deadwood,in the next breath,we should have 3 players for every position.Which is it,FFS.

  7. I just posted at 4:09 and was papped off the blog at 4:12! Surely not because I made a Paul 67 comment!



  8. While I am on I thought I should clear up the Edouarde post I put on.I was told by my mate at Peterboro that Toney was told to wait until we saw what was happening with Edouarde.The boy waited 6 weeks,refusing to speak to anyone,driving Peterboro mad,then was told Edouarde was going nowhere,and to take up the brilliant offer from Brentford.Which he did.


    Thats why I knew Edourde was staying.


    By the way,he scored twice for Brentford on his debut

  9. MAD MITCH,is Charlie Nicholas.


    As Lenny said He does not speak for Celtic and he does not speak for me”.

  10. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    SMSM trying their best to piss on the parade as usual.



    A little disappointed NL took the time to answer a question about Charlie Nicholas’ opinion.



    He should have ignored it and moved on to next (inane) question.

  11. Wee question, are entire football squads allowed to be together in a restaurant? Im sat next to the Livingston team right now and not convinced that’s how the bubble should work?

  12. TOSB



    I don’t dispute your general point about claiming for things and pressurising refs but…………



    “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.”



    I lokked at the highlights and after that “corner” award I see 4 Celts with their arms raised claiming for the award and only 2 Rangers arms raised.



    You can re-check it here at 2.38 mins in:-




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

    PAPAJOE55 – congratulations to your whole, now a wee bit bigger, family. Wee babies are fabby :-))



    CONEYBHOY – UK is on my naughty step too, and I bliddy live here!!!






  14. Glasgowbhoy


    I’m sure if nothing else the rule of 6 is in place.





    Congratulations – she just missed your birthday by a few hours

  15. Gene, looks more like the rule of 30 in here right now! Not hard to spot wee Jamesie’s brother btw

  16. glendalystonsils on

    Lenny says Diego is a tenacious player and is ready to go right into the thick of it .


    Clearly a clue that he will play against the huns , as they don’t come any thicker .



    punsintended csc

  17. CONEYBHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:39 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











    I think CF is Create Facts; FP facts presented



    Of course you are correct! I will try to use the context of the original posts better in future!




  18. glendalystonsils on

    AIPPLE on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 4:09 PM



    They didn’t know that loss of taste/smell was a Covid symptom until several months into the pandemic.


    Weeks after that they discovered it could also affect the stomach .


    Whatever happened to ‘better safe than sorry’? . I’m glad I’m retired from teaching.

  19. Turkeybhoy



    I think the option for right wing back are Forrest, Frimpong and Elhamed (or ElhamEEd) as the Celtic TV guy kept saying last Thurs



    If we play a back 4 then we have Forrest, Frimpong or Ntcham (at a push. Has played a few games there, RM rather than winger)



    Left wingback we now have Taylor and Laxalt



    Left winger/LM we have Moi, Johnston or Christie



    I don’t think we need to blood any youngsters at this point and we now have decent cover



    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






    👆🏼This post, this and this again……it’s all you need to know about the last game. And pretty much everything we should be considering for the next.


    HH jg

  21. PapaJoe



    Saskia is a most beautiful name. Welcome to the world, little princess.



    HH jg

  22. Well! I’ve dropped in to enjoy my humble pie. I confidently predicted that our spending spree would be financed by player sales…probably Odsonne Edouard. Paul has alluded to the fact that he expected as much too. We were both wrong.



    In a year where revenue has been hit by Covid-19 and where UCL treasure has passed the club by for a third successive season, it seemed inevitable that this summer would deliver a net sale in the window. Instead we have dipped into the sinking fund and backed the manager. Ten in a row clearly matters more to our Board than I ever gave them credit for. This is the best window I can remember. Well done Celtic. Over to you Neil and the players.



    Let’s hope that next season’s ticket sales will be marketed at eleven in a row and an automatic UCL group stage place as reward. There is a realistic chance. The failures of the last three summers have allowed us to repair a sliding UEFA coefficient in the UEL, but we really need to negotiate the qualifiers next year and prove to the Board that their investment this summer can yield a long term dividend financially. This window has prepared the team for next summer. But first we have a league to win.




  23. glendalystonsils on

    It’ll be interesting to see how Mikey Johnston fares when he returns . I reckon this season could be make or break for him . I hope it’s ‘make’ as there’s a real talent in there .







    I don’t dispute your general point about claiming for things and pressurising refs but…………




    “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.”




    I lokked at the highlights and after that “corner” award I see 4 Celts with their arms raised claiming for the award and only 2 Rangers arms raised.




    You can re-check it here at 2.38 mins in:-









    Perhaps that was not the best example of our passivity. The incident is over in a flash in the highlights link you posted so I watched the incident on the SKY recording I watched last night. Five Rangers players are facing the Ref Kamara is behind him and Davis is also facing him and looks to be shouting at him. Morelos is in front of him facing him, arm in the air. Goldson is in the net facing him, arm in the air and Aribo is on the ground facing him arm in the air. Of our guys who have their arms up, Forster, Brown, Edouard, Christie and Mikey Johnston only Scott Brown Ryan Christie look to be contesting the decision with the same vigour as the Rangers players. Mikey Johnston and Edouard don’t appear to be contesting the decision vocally. Brown and Christie do. Fraser Forster’s arm is up in the air but it’s hard to tell if he’s making a big shout for it or not.




    My assertion that none of our players claimed for a goal kick was clearly wrong but I think Kevin Clancy was more persuaded by the shouts of the Rangers players. Before anyone says that that doesn’t surprise them it is only fair to point out that Clancy gave us a penalty at 0-0, did not disallow Edouard’s goal although the ball struck his hand, needed no encouragement to give Morelos a second yellow for diving, followed by a red nor to issue a straight red card to Michael Beale for whatever shenanigans he had got up to in the dugout.



    My point is really that, throughout the game Rangers appeared to claim things more vigorously than did the Celtic players.

  25. IMO, biggest problem we have agin the hun is most of our players are away on international duty while the hun have virtually a full squad to train all the time, Lenny has a day or so at most when they come back hopefully fit, fingers crossed and all that.


    I still don’t think Lenny knows his best team tho, that bothers me a tad, hopefully I’m bothering unnecessarily.


    I will say it again, well done Pedro on the window, it pains me a wee bit less to say it twice :>}

  26. james forrest injured again ……………..



    aye right



    games in last 5 seasons –



    46, 58, 56, 46 (shortened season) and 10 this year.



    aye always injured.

  27. Wee James F was injury prone pre Brendan Rogers.



    The turnaround in his fitness since, accompanied not surprisingly by totally developed legs!, has been outstanding.



    Will be good to have him fit again. Though in truth he seldom makes as big an impact against the FOD as I’d like him to.



    HH jg