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. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Congratulations to PapaJoe55 on the arrival of his new granddaughter.


    Slightly better than a 5-1 against Der Hun but not much😁


    4th attempt!!

  2. That’s virtually the first positive thing Eddie has done fir a wee while – hope he comes through ok. Younger folk catching it is almost inevitable now and international games make a mockery of not bpvisiting your granny (unless she plays for Austria Vienna)

  3. How long does he have to isolate? On the hope that he is fine like majority of other sportsmen that have tested positive, is that him out the huns game ?

  4. Should Celtic pull all our players now from International duty.


    If Edouard test upheld he misses hun game,although on recent form might not be as big an impact as an on form Eddie would have been.

  5. Wow; the things you learn here!!


    So now Shane Duffy has a ‘pace problem’ and the Sevvy frontline will cause him serious issues?


    Duff has had a remarkably calm and impressive intro to life as a Celt. More, his aggression, strength and generally good game-reading should be giving Alfredo and Roofe sleepless nights, not us.


    As per TOSB’s great analysis of the last game v THEM, we really need to be up for the fight early; any slow-start will be punished by the snarling dogs they’ll set out against us.


    Has the ref been confirmed?

  6. 10 days isolation period



    But his fitness might not be right for huns game after that.



    Game will be off anyway IMO



    D :)

  7. prestonpans bhoys on

    From Celtic star



    ODSONNE EDOUARD has tested positive for COVID-19, the French Football Federation has confirmed. A statement on the French website confirmed that the 22-year-old had tested positive in their latest rounds of testing/

  8. Denia – 10 days for him p,14 days for his household – clear for der Hun game. Unless the good ole SPFL suddenly reveal a Jim Farry memorial sub section four paragraph 2b scam.

  9. Eddie testing positive has huge consequences. He would have been tested prior to the St Johnstone game, therefore he must have picked it up afterwards. (incubation 2 days). Has he been in contact with celtic players during this time, if so they may test positive in a day or two!

  10. By the way, before anyone thinks I am trivializing it, I am simply observing loads of players across Europe have tested positive. Few, if any, develop any serious stmptoms. Almost all are asymptomatic.

  11. David66 – if we are disadvantaged in any way there is not a chance in hell of the game being off

  12. Denia – I am getting very close to thinking 5hat we should let everyone under forty just get in with it and the rest of us be very careful.

  13. Jimmy- that did cross my mind, but I think Sturgy will not want people gathering to watch it if we are on a Circuit break.



    D :)

  14. So assuming we tested fri/sat, got results sat/Sun, I’m guessing he joined up with France yesterday, tested yesterday, result today tge squad might be OK as isn’t there 2-3 days incubation before it’s contagious?

  15. JINKYREDSTAR – thanks 😃


    SFA announce that French players in Glasgow need to isolate for 30 days if they have prior for shooting air rifles which clearly indicates they cannot be trusted.

  16. garygillespieshamstring on

    How do they travel to the game?


    If the squad are deemed to be close contacts at the weekend, the whole squad could be self isolating for two weeks.

  17. Edouard is with the France Under-21 squad for Euro qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Slovakia.



    But he will not play in either match, with the FFF saying he was tested on Tuesday morning and the positive result discovered after training.



    All other Under-21 players and staff are said to have tested negative.



    More to follow.

  18. Regarding playing Diego against Sevco – Mihailovich tossed in the non Italian speaking Hickey straight into a Serie A game. He did very well, and is much younger and far less experienced than Diego. I don’t think Lenny will have an issue.



    My forecast for the game is that Sevco will play high balls to Morelos, who will keep backing in to Duffy and gain fouls. Tavernier and Barisic provide a lot of dangerous free kicks and crosses for them, and I think this will be their strategy.

  19. I know two people who had false positives- both in a caring/health situation so the outcomes where very important- false positives are quite common as the residual trace of other Covid family viruses can be detected.

  20. Original, if he flew out Sunday night that would just about fit… I’m assuming we tested everyone on Monday morning…

  21. But hell have to isolate either way so then match readiness will be questionable… I assume it’ll be klimala n griff too Starr with elyon and Ajeti to bring on…