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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. glendalystonsils on

    I think Kris Commons did a lot of good for us with his feet and is undoing a lot of that good with his mouth .

  2. weebobbycollins on

    Big Wavy…seems to be the case re Laxalt and Uruguay squad. Neither he nor Cavani are included.

     

    Bonus for us…

  3. weebobbycollins on

    Maybe we could applaud Commons on to the field, then give him pelters as he goes off…😂

  4. TET,

     

     

    Without triggering a few here, we NEED a left wing alternative against the huns. The current young fella won’t do in this match.

     

     

    Let’s throw them a few problems to solve.

     

     

    HH

  5. weebobbycollins on

    Kris B to Kris C…”Listen, wee man! If you want to get ahead in this biz, do what I do…”

  6. TONTINE TIM @ 6:15 PM,

     

     

    “…*not according to this same forum CQN which states

     

     

    CELTIC’S forgotten man Kundai Benyu, once so highly rated by Brendan Rodgers, is heading for the Hoops exit.

     

     

    The 22-year-old midfielder, who was signed by the ex-boss from Ipswich Town in 2017, is poised to join National League side Wealdstone.”

     

     

    Benyu was acclaimed as a top prospect when he arrived at Parkhead after rejecting a contract extension by Portman Road manager Mick McCarthy. He had caught the eye of Rodgers’ scouts during a loan spell at Aldershot.

     

     

    Well one things for certain, he was a top prospect, my brother lives in Ipswich*, many of his family and extended family are Ipswich Town season ticket holders.

     

     

    They were gutted that Benyu was leaving but his kids were happy he was going to Celtic.

     

     

    However CQN, like the Daily Mail has a lot of positives going on. Yet when it comes to the Daily Mail, I’d never trust a positive article on the Tory Party and I’d never trust a negative story on the Labour Party.

     

     

    Likewise on CQN I’d never trust a positive story on Peter Lawwell and I’d never trust a negative story on Brendan Rodgers.

     

     

    On Brendan Rodgers’ scouts, the Herald was scathing…

     

     

    Flop Celtic head of recruitment Lee Congerton follows Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City

     

     

    Can we trust the Herald on Celtic!?

     

     

    Anyways, the fact is, of all these flops that Rodgers and Congerton supposedly signed none were signed for Leicester… odd that.

     

     

    However Timothy Castagne who they wanted to sign for Celtic and were blocked from doing so, did sign for Leicester… bit of a disconnect there, doncha’ think?

     

     

    It’s interesting that all the trophies we have won were down to Peter Lawwell.

     

     

    Yet, anyone who suggestted we were dumped out of the UCL this season because of him were shot down in flames. Logic is, what happens on the pitch is down to the Manager, the Coaches and the players.

     

     

    So the narrative we are meant to believe…

     

     

    Every signing success was down to Peter Lawwell, every failure was down to the scouts, the coaches and the manager.

     

     

    Every football success was down to Peter Lawwell, every failure was down to the players, the coaches and the manager.

     

     

    Maybe big Jock was fortunate for Sir Robert.

     

     

    But you know what? It was Bob that gave him the managers role, it was he who took a back seat when big Jock stood up against him and said I run the team.

     

     

    Maybe, Big Pedro could have taken a leaf out of Sir Robert’s book and supported Mr Rodgers, the way Bob Kelly supported Mr Stein. He could’ve been a Legend.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  7. I’m absolutely delighted with the transfer window. I reckon we have made some great signings: Barkas, Ajeti and Turnbull all signed with Elyounoussi, Duffy and Laxalt on loan for the season. I’m a greedy guy and wouldn’t have minded another central defender as well.

     

     

    I now look forward to the squad settling down, the manager deciding on his main formation and personnel and his Plan B and personnel. I think good times lie ahead.

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  8. Borgo67

     

    With who, they will all be away, unlike them’s who have hardly anyone away.

     

    HH

     

    Big Wavy

     

    I like your thinking, but will Lenny, that’s the question.

     

    Time will tell I suppose.

     

    HH

  9. Barkas, El Hamed, Duffy, Ajer, Taylor, McGregor, Christie, Moi, Even Biton, Eddie, Ntcham, Ajeti is injured with a couple of others namely James Forrest, and that’s just off the top off my head will all be gone, doesn’t give our new bhoy much time to settle in with his new team mates, I have always been a glass half empty and anything else is a bonus…..

  10. TET

     

    Didn’t realise the internationals went on until next Wednesday. Not much time for the new Bhoy to get to know his new teammates right enough.

     

    Having said that I would definitely start him , hopefully Neil sees it that way too.

  11. BIG WAVY on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 4:05 PM

     

    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.

     

     

     

    HH

     

    ……………………….

     

    I think the centre of our midfield were running around fighting fires. Brown trying his best to keep them at bay and McGregor trying to start attacks. Forrest was posted missing on the right and Mikey Johnston who had been playing with an injury which forced him to go off did try his best. I got the impression they saw him as a threat. They were swamped. There were two or three occasions early on when Morelos went head to head with Jullien, mano-a-mano, as we never said in the Brig. Morelos knew he had the beating of Jullien every time. The Big Guy looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I’ll also say for the hundredth time on here that Kris Ajer is never a centre back. That will come home to bite us in the bum again. What I’m looking forward to seeing is Duffy versus Morelos. I would, however, prefer to play a marker against Morelos. Challenge early, click his heels, track him and pinch the ball. Generally annoy and frustrate him.

  12. If the huns had 12 players plying in internationals in the next 10 days and we had 2, the game would be on the Sunday.

  13. B67

     

    That’s assuming he is fit, he might not be, we are only assuming he is, Lenny will make the choice and imo he won’t start the new fella, I have no idea if I hope I am wrong or not right enough.

     

    HH

  14. Interesting stuff on the Grauniad website today regarding their ongoing series of “Next Generation” articles looking at the best 16/17 yr old prospects in the EPL — one from each team.

     

     

    The series started with 2015 where TAA @ Liverpool is the star who has gone the furthest in the game.

     

     

    However the drop out rate is crazy with quite a few still struggling to get a game in the EL2.

     

     

    One thing that they all seemed to be in 2015 was that they were quite tall for their age — just an observation but the number who were talked up both in the 2015 original article and the later annual updates who are currently struggling for serious game time is quite disturbing.

     

     

    Some have been hindered by injuries.

     

    others have struggled with the weight of expectation.

     

     

    For a comparison who out of out players that were with us 5 years ago and were born between Aug 98 and July 99 has made the most progress in the game?

     

     

    For the record I can’t think of anyone bar MJ.

  15. HOT SMOKED on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 2:04 PM

     

    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?

     

    ………………………

     

    Well I don’t know so much. Lenny has form for this sort of thing. I remember he played Efe Ambrose against Juve not very long after Efe had played in the Final of and won the African Nations Cup with Nigeria. Lenny didn’t think Efe would make a mistake either but I seem to remember he made two very early mistakes that put us two goals down. Neil Lennon left it up to Efe to decide if he wanted to play. Neil Lennon should have taken his own decision and not played him. I seem to remember Juventus left one of their players out (Asimoah?) who was just returning too.

  16. TOSB,

     

     

    Unlike you I’m petrified at the thought of Duffy up against the Huns quick forward line. Too slow for my liking..

     

     

    TET – Eddie finishes Monday and a few others finish Tuesday – Scotland, Norway and Israel for Wednesday.

     

     

    He should have Tom Rogic, captain Scott, Griffiths, Frimpong, Julien, Ollie Ntcham (old mate) to keep him company along with a recovering Ajeti…

     

     

    He’ll be fine fella…

     

     

    HH

  17. MADMITCH

     

     

    Your invective does you no credit.

     

     

    Insults and pish posts will get you nowhere.

  18. Anyone remember a game against the huns when we had played in Europe , didny get home until the small hours on Friday and Big John Hartson put them to the sword on the Saturday?

  19. So no car mechanics on then……I signed up for a BMW site a while back and they are so far up their own arses they wouldn’t even bother answering my question, I drive a heap of shit apparently, I do, but that’s not the point, the twats could have helped but no, winkers.

  20. “SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 7:54 PM

     

    Kris Commons has been far less critical of Celtic than 90% of our support have been.”

     

     

    Agreed but he has, I suspect, a much bigger audience and, as a consequence, a much bigger influence .

     

     

    “GLENDALYSTONSILS on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 7:54 PM

     

    I think Kris Commons did a lot of good for us with his feet and is undoing a lot of that good with his mouth .”

     

     

    Well expressed :-)

  21. Thank you Sid…I’ve been breathing heavily into a brown paper bag since I read that Greg Taylor in a back 3 post…

     

     

    Won’t sleep a wink tonight.

  22. TOSB

     

     

    ” Lenny didn’t think Efe would make a mistake either”.

     

     

    Which is just about the opposite of what I said !

  23. Big Wavy

     

    I don`t share many of your views but I like the fact that you often use humour in your expression of them. Much better for one`s health :-))