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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. TET



    Sorry mate I know next to nothing about car mechanics.



    My first car was a Singer Gazelle and my second was a Ford Cortina 1600E.



    I remember with both cars that there was plenty of room under the bonnet if there was a problem.



    I was no bad then.



    After that it was company cars, so lost interest in the workings. But did note with modern cars you could hardly get a fag paper between the bits.



    I replaced a headlamp bulb in my car recently and had to remove the air filter to get to it.



    Feckin nightmare.

  2. Philbhoy


    Aye I well remember them days when the engine bay had lots of room in it, I had to fit a couple of bits to the exhaust the other week and I had to take half the efin car to bits, a half hour job took me a day and a half, feckin nightmare right enough.


    Are the boys in Stony doing Ok ?



  3. TET



    We were up at the end of February, a couple of weeks before lockdown and had a great time.



    Bob Allan’s daughter married my wife’s cousin and they have been here a couple of times recently.



    Bob and family doing well too!



    Missed the beer festival in June, but there will be others!



    Give Jan a hug from me and one for you too!



    Did your lad get married as planned?

  4. so we now have a left wing back on loan to play in the 5 , so who plays left side of the 3 ,imo GT plays as we don’t have another left footed ‘defender’ , KA is not a left sided defender so who plays left side of the 3 at the back.

  5. Chairbhoy



    Though you are right to be sceptical on some source material, you over-egg the case and are in danger of believing the oposite to that which you acuse CQN of believing.



    Regardless of who scouted and signed Kundai benyu, Brendan Rodgers activated his position within hte squad rather than send him out on loan, the usual route to prove he could make the jump to first team squad member. He was quoted in every newspaper at the time



    Here’s one:-



    “Brendan Rodgers last night hailed the impact of Celtic new boy Kundai Benyu and insisted he’d already ditched plans to send the kid on loan.



    Former Ipswich midfielder Benyu, who spent last term on loan at Aldershot, was the stand out performer as Rodgers’ young side lost 4-0 to Lyon less than 24 hours after winning their Champions League qualifer in Belfast.



    Lyon only turned the screw after the break and Rodgers saw enough of new boys Olivier Ntcham and Jonny Hayes to believe the exercise was worthwhile – and he admitted that Benyu’s instant impact has forced him into a rethink over the 19-year-old’s future in the short term.



    Rodgers said: “He’s been very good. He’s surprised me to be honest. We knew he was a good player. You see what we’re trying to build here in terms of players being technically gifted.



    “But they have to have good mobility and good physicality. And he has that. He’s played with a nice little edge, he’s competitive. And he’s got a confidence.



    “We will see how he develops. Initially the plan was to have him in, thinking he can get an idea of how we work and then go on loan.



    “But I’ve sort of changed my mind, really, over the last period of time just watching him. I think it’s going to be good for him to probably come in and have six months in here to see how we train, how we work, get an education in our footballing idea then review in January and see where he is at. He’s certainly a boy who can contribute for us.”



    Benyu insisted he wants to remain at Parkhead rather go out on loan – and he’s not fazed by the competition in the Celtic midfielder.



    He said: “I loved it, it was a good experience. I wasn’t expecting to start but I knew I’d be involved. I was happy to take part and play 70 minutes which was good for fitness.



    “Impressing the manager was my main objective. He wasn’t sure if I was going to go on loan but I’ve come in, worked as hard as I can so I’m happy to stay and fight for my place.



    “I’d much rather be settled in Glasgow with the boys playing every week in the league.



    “Given time, working as hard as I can in training and listening to the gaffer and his advice I think I’ll be able to get in the team as much as I can.



    “But I think I’m ready to step in now if I have to, if the gaffer calls upon me. The main objective is to keep working hard every day.



    “The gaffer has given me six months to work as hard as I can but I’m looking to stay for longer and fight for my place in the time.”



    Rodgers believes the match was beneficial in terms of giving his players who weren’t involved in Belfast much needed game time.”




    Now, I am not going to make a critical case that Brendan got it wrong; there are far too many variables involved in player development and we all thought Benyu looked good in that match so we all made the same mistake.



    But, it was clearly not Peter Lawwell’s mistake to place him in our squad.



    Nobody, absolutely nobody, cheered the signing of Jeremie Frimong or thought he was going to help our first team squad. Many more had been impressed by the signings of Shved, Kouassi and Arzani etc;. That is a matter of historical record not opinion (just read the contemporary CQN views)



    Yet Jeremie made it and fans favourites like Liam Henderson did not.



    That’s why I don’t procaim the recruitment success of a transfer window until we see how they all get on. Duffy , Ajeti and Barkas have made promising starts. Elyounoussi has been a bit more indifferent this year and Laxalt hs still to prove himself. We have seen world class talents like Lljungberg and world cup medal winners like Braafheid come here and fail.



    Paul gave a word of warning, largey ignored, about proclaiming transfer window success, when he said this is the best mood we have generated since the Robbie Keane window. Well we alll know how that turned out, whereas the much maligned Willo Flood window is seen as having inexorably led to a lost league, but that is a myth. We did lose that league eventually but not after we had got ourselves into pole position with 2 games to go. It was a bit rich to blame that lost league on a failure to sign anybody else 4 months earlier. The guy we were supposed to sign to guarantee the league, Steven Fletcher, was actually one of the 22 uninspiring performers at Easter Road in that 2nd last game of the season, where we blew our league. Willo FLood was not the cause of that lost league; it was a stubborn perseverance with the same tired squad and tactics which had worked for us the year before but did not work this time.

  6. Philbhoy


    Next time you are up give them my best, I will, and you give your brood one as well.


    No he didn’t, they put it off till next year when they hope things are a wee bit better.



  7. RC



    A right footer?



    I wanted a left footed CH but we got Duffy. I think we’ll continue to go with 3 big bruisers, all right footed, and hope it clicks as a system.




  8. Bada – source



    Last night you said:


    A SCOTLAND-wide mini-lockdown to tackle a rise in Covid cases will start at 7pm on Friday, docs were told today.




    Nicola Sturgeon confirmed an announcement on a “circuit breaker” — centred on a stay-at-home order for a fortnight or more — could come tomorrow.



    FM – ruled out stay at home today



    I asked for your source



    Tonight you say – ‘possibility of pubs closing from 6pm on Friday’ once again source please



    If you are to be credible as MITK then back it up



    You are normally a ‘go to’ for me but I’m getting a wee bit sceptical about your direct link to the FMs brain.



    Apart from that – keep it lit, love most of yer stuff😀

  9. Nite all!



    11 sleepless nights ’til I see the TIC.



    (I don’t sleep good)



    Nite nite!

  10. SFTB – I know but last night wasn’t Tuesday- no gripe and Bada knows that



    For what it’s worth my pub links think the ‘beer garden’ outdoor rule is very likely – attributed to Chip and Oran Mhor staff



    Just the same rumour which anyone could engender





    “KA is not a left sided defender so who plays left side of the 3 at the back.”


    Kris Ajer!


    cos you’re not the manager.


    P.S. Have you ever seen Taylor play in a back 3?



    imo GT would be better suited than Kris Ajer will ever be , your right on one thing I’m not the manager so not my decision.

  12. TET


    My old boss had a BMW, he was in for an oil change when they spotted he needed a brake job.


    After the oil change he walks to the service counter to book in for the brake job the guy says sorry sir you have to make appointment by phone. Soon after he sold the car.

  13. RIP Jackie Dennis


    Rock n Roll Legend (Fae Leith)


    The Boy who put the tartan in the troos


    Back in the day

  14. prestonpans bhoys on




    Think Bada’s looking at the Sun, wife pointed me in that direction, which concerned me greatly, I mean why was she reading that shite😱😵

  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.





    HOT SMOKED on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 8:59 PM






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




    Which is just about the opposite of what I said !





    Didn’t mean to misrepresent you and sorry if I did.


    I took your first post to mean that Lenny was likely to play Diego. The possibility of Diego making a howler would not enter his thinking and could you imagine the furore if Lenny didn’t play him and said,



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





    So with that as my interpretation of your post, I tried to make the point that Lenny had played Efe before in not exactly the same but similar circumstances and Efe commited not one but two howlers which cost us dearly.



    Again sorry if you feel I misinterpreted your post.

  16. To be fair to Bada Bing all he’s doing is sharing the gossip.


    It’s all out there 😉

  17. FAIRHILL BHOY on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 9:49 PM


    To be fair to Bada Bing all he’s doing is sharing the gossip.



    It’s all out there 😉




    Gossip?????? Whit gossip??????? Did I miss something?

  18. Jimmy et al,a pal has a few pubs ,and I posted here what he told me, not the Sun …..last message at tea time, he was in contact with the pub federation guy,latest he heard,was 6pm closing for 2 weeks from Friday

  19. Joe Biden has been pretty unimpressive and stumbling so far in this campaign but he pulled a powerful speech out of the bag in Gettysburg tonight. Somebody on his staff can write a good speech.



    No more fitting place to deliver it either.



    I still think he’s too old and frail for the job ahead but, fair play to the man, that was powerful.

  20. Cheers for that Setting Free, as far as I’m aware the management team let the Moneyball Mhan know what positions need filled and then he comes up with a list of potential targets, these are discussed and then rated. He goes after each chosen target and when they don’t want to come, as was the case of the player that chose Spain over dreich Scotland, or a realistic fee can’t be reached he goes down the list and so on until hopefully we get someone in.



    As for Sir Bob giving a Jock his way, the board were desperate at the time as the ground was emptying, more so than the top layer of the stand during Da Doo Ron Ron’s time, even my da who was a huge supporter had stopped going preferring puting a line on after his Saturday morning shift and watching the likes of Peter O’Sullivan in the afternoon, so Jock was approached and thankfully he came.



    At the Thursday night board meeting after Jock had finally arrived he was asked what the team was for the Saturday and he replied he was unsure due to a wee injury here and a wee cold there. Sir Bob allegedly said so your telling us to mind our own business and the Big Mhan came back with that’s about the size of it.



    Now before the facts checkers come jumping in here that can be seen on the Centennial Video with Hugh McIllvaney relating it, also Jock can be seen saying it’s no good saying your in charge unless you are, or words tae that effect.



    To paraphrase Brother Walfrid tae James Glass “nae Kelly, nae Keltic”, then nae Jock, nae Celtic as we know it. Oh and IMHO it all went downhill when Sir Bob went tae that Paradise up in the sky and Desmond White took over as the relationship between the team and the board was never the same, much tae the consternation of the greatest captain in my lifetime while he was in the dugout.

  21. Bada – fair enough- my money is on the ‘outdoors’ option.


    Now – we have to get out if the traps against der Hun – two in twenty minutes and they are strangled of hope.


    The analysis from original Sadie earlier was spot on.


    Can I also add to the ‘influencing’ opus – when I have watched a feed of any Sevco game – with no fans to make a noise, they really SCREAM when anyone goes near them, for a grown man it must be quite embarrassing and unprofessional, but pulling on that jersey means you care not a jot about either.



    HH JRS

  22. prestonpans bhoys on

    BADA BING!! on 6TH OCTOBER 2020 9:57 PM



    Still doesn’t explain why my wife was reading the Sun😕😱😵

  23. Call_of_Juarez on

    Not sure about accuracy but twitter reports from France indicatig Eddy +ve for CoVid.



    Hope not.

  24. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    If true, it looks as though French Eddy will be out for a couple of weeks.