Various gaps but central defence is strategically important


As the football operation at Celtic enjoys its first break since returning to training in June, focus at the club moves to recruitment.  Celtic have been busy renewing contracts throughout the first half of the season, the notable exceptions being Dedryck Boyata and Scott Brown, but reinforcements are needed ahead of the Champions League qualification games, if not the second half of the season.

The biggest area of concern is central defence.  Filip Benkovic will (probably) return to Leicester City in June, while Dedryck Boyata will hope to cash-in on last summer’s World Cup appearances before he produces too many like those at Ibrox on Saturday.  The Marvin Compper experiment was over before it began, while Jack Hendry has dropped to fifth choice and the fitness status of Jozo Simunovic has to be assessed on a minute-by-minute basis.

That leaves Kristoffer Ajer (20) as the only reliable option for a position that cost us dearly against AEK in August.

There is work to do elsewhere.  Right back needs strengthened, we are crucially short of headcount in the striker department and there’s a reasonable chance Scott Brown will move on this summer, but while moves are underway to cover some of these gaps, I would forgo all other positions to get central defence sorted out this month, despite the fact that right now it is the most settled of the positions discussed.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Anyone else having problems getting into hesgoal.com tonight? Wanted to watch the Liverpool Vs City game but site won’t load.



    Auldheid- some incredible decisions going their way on the park and more significantly at the appeals stage- looks like the SFA are back in their save the rangers mission





    The day Celtic realise they are dealing with football criminals supported by the football police is the day things change.



    How much does it actually cost Celtic/DD to stay on top of a corrupt pile?



    How much more cost effective would it be to ensure that for every fiver Rangers spend we have to spend £10 just to stay on top?



    Its high time some fresh thinking was introduced at Board level and renewed regularly to prevent complacency.

  3. So Beaton missed the final or 4th assault by Morelos


    The forearm smash on Ryan Christie


    Or Did the staunch Unionist Ross include in his ?



    Celtic, it really is time to act for the Benefit of Celtic only, particularly your players


    Enough is enough


    FtSFA are taking the total piss out of our club, it’s fans, and Scottish football


    Time to act, with everything you have


    You do employ a lawyer, use his services to defend our club, our players our fans, our shareholders etc



    We await with baited breath.



    Now P67, Brendan wanted a long term replacement for Brown, and Lustig in the summer


    Some forward planning


    We had the money sitting in the bank, earning interest, and paying out bonus money.


    Had this been actioned, we could have dealt with CH this window




    We also need 2 strikers, over and above those already stated


    Whose fault is we now need 6 first team ready players in this window ?


    Not 2, 6 urgently required


    Waken up and smell the coffee, as someone once stated

  4. Adi- lol?



    I know I keep going on, but I’m just frustrated, perhaps I’m being unkind to our board, scouting and or our negotiating team.



    By the way I prefer Pogs idea of bedwetting. ?






    D. :)

  5. AULDHEID on 3RD JANUARY 2019 8:17 PM




    Hear, hear, and thank you.


    Oh, and good luck. ?

  6. Got it now, must be a lot of traffic as it keeps freezing. Thought Liverpool had just scored. Ball goes past the keeper, heading into an empty net and . . . it freezes, 30 seconds later you see it bouncing off the post :)

  7. Go tell the Spartim on

    Upon reflection of P67’s article is this the ground being laid for us to get McKenna



    If it is, then I’m oot but not Kev style



    It certainly wasn’t someone on here who said that last line.


    If they did it would probably be Waken up and follow blindly.

  9. Dexter P. Bampot on

    I can’t believe that anyone would think Seamus Coleman is a realistic prospect.



    We are currently haggling with a team I’ve never heard of for a 20 year old Ivorian with the difference between our bids amounting to a couple of weeks of Coleman’s PL wages.



    It is transfer window déjà vu. Quibbling over very modest amounts of money only serving to delay a potential transfer and attract other clubs’ interest in the player.



    We have had MONTHS (arguably years) to identify the problem areas and do not seem to have lined up our targets in a meaningful way.



    New players should be brought in asap to go with the squad to winter training. Our deadwood should be gotten rid pronto- mutually consenting a number if necessary.



    The impatience of fans is not because it’s day 3 of the window, it’s because it’s month 5 since the last window.

  10. Auldheid


    Celtic board ;


    Tom Allison 69


    Brian Wilson 68


    Dermot Desmond 67


    Ian Bankier 65


    Peter Lowell 58



    Sharon Brown 48


    Christopher McKay 42



    Without being ageist – we need some younger thinking executives on our board, with different views on how to take us forward, and the ability to bring fresh ideas and fresh money into the club

  11. Dexter


    Correct, we have had since 1st Sept, to have been planning for 1st Jan19


    Mind you 1st & 2nd was a bank holiday ?



    For sake of repeating myself, we need a minimum of 6 players, and should be moving several on, right now, plus potentially several others out of contract in the summer

  12. PC Mik is 32, Seamus Coleman 30, Mick has played 73 times for Sweden including 3 international tourneys, Seamus 49 and only 1 tourney that I know of, plus he had a bad leg break recently



    Mik like a lot of good players out there may be suffering from the summers WC. IMHO we should keep him and persevere with big Anthony unless a really good deal appears out there.

  13. Why would a player jump to join us 3 days into a transfer window


    when they still have 4 weeks to see if a better team or better deal


    financially is available to them.

  14. Thank God I came onto the blog tonight.



    Otherwise, I would have remained of the erroneous opinion that Messi and Ronaldo were the two best football players on the planet.



    Now, thankfully, i know it to be Defoe and Davis, imminently of the Hun.



    Oh, woe is us…

  15. Nathaniel Clyne at Liverpool is available ( right back) initially on loan, with a view to permanent deal ?

  16. Big Vic at Tottenham, also available on loan to end of season ?


    That would sort Centre of defence, or holding midfielder out

  17. Uncle Jimmy @ 7.57



    Mea Culpa.



    a ‘loose’ internet term not meant to be taken literally, especially when it is not personalised


    or directed at any particular Celtic supporter



    With respect, our needs are very different too, since June when we didn’t need two strikers © BR



    Even as late as the August deadline day we only needed one, but were too late because thats when we caved in to


    Moussa Dembele’s absolute intention to down tools even on the training ground, nobody foresaw Leigh Griffith’s


    illness, hence we now need two players both of which I’m confident we’ll sign in this window.



    In August we needed a replacement for Stuart Armstrong? but recalled and found Ryan Christie so thats altered too, along with Boyata the often forgotten summer loan signing £11M Benkovic have taken us to the summit on a rollercoaster, with no apparent in between either great or rank ( especially ) away.



    Wouldn’t be surprised if we wait till summer to address the CB situation and press on with what we have in contention.



    The Right Back situation is the old Celtic left back situation which saw luminaries like Danny Fox and Michael Gray coming in and out of la fenetre.



    We have RB’s none of them entirely popular with the support, but I doubt we’d try and brass neck it till summer without signing a Right back and offloading two in summer at the lastest.



    One last change since August is the Left Back situation where Emilio Izaguirre ‘failed’ to cover for Keiran and we know what misery that caused moving our best player to play there, maybe we need two Full Backs?



    FWIW I’m expecting four players to sign in January, with a few in the revolving door going out.




  18. Aw FFS just had a text to say that Harold Brattbakk has just jetted in to Glasgow Airport.


    No, wait, it’s OK, he’s due to jet out again at 22.00.

  19. No doubt Phil Mac and John James will be telling their followers all about the problems Sevco have and that they will be back in admin before the clocks change. And of course they both have it on good authority that Stevie G is a dud, that Dave King will be in prison after his next court appearance, that the roof at the Bigotdome will collapse and that Mike Ashley will flex his muscles and flatten the whole damn place . . .


    In the real world,Sevco have had to pay off three management teams in the past four years and still have a few players collecting high wages that they can’t get rid of.


    At the same time they have put in place a new mngmt team and signed 15+ players and I bet they have a few more in before the end of January. Oh, and Stevie G actually appears to be learning on the job and proving he isn’t the dumbwit we were led to believe. Dare I say it, his appointment looks like a good piece of business.


    Crisis? What crisis?


    They have money to burn (who knows where it comes from, who cares) and friends in high places.


    Teflon Dave gives two fingers to the courts and gets away with it every time. Taxes are for the poor, rules are for the plebs.



    I dreamt they had died and that their namesake would for ever be the butt of jokes. Zombies. The Walking Dead. I’ve woken up and they are amongst us in broad daylight and they smell blood. Our blood. They dream that they will soon be up to their knees in it.



    Pistol Pete better get the silver bullets polished, stakes sharpened and crucifixes at the ready. Or he and Brendan will be joining the Living Dead.

  20. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    The Defoe signing will raise the zombie hun total points count. He could be worth an extra 6-9 points to them with late goals. Mind, I wouldn’t swap a fit and focused Leigh Griffiths for Defoe. Celtic need to get this window right.

  21. balornock bhoy on

    I always want the best for our team however, I suspect the good folk on here suggesting things like Wanyamma, McCarthy, Coleman PLUS 2 CBs and 2 CFs are going to be sorely disappointed come the end of January.


    I don’t see us signing Nathaniel Clyne either nor do I want loan signing for RB. For me a first choice RB is paramount along with a first choice CB and alternative type CF.



    PS never would I describe myself as a happy clapper however for those that want to see the back of PL it’s worth remembering that in 15 years of his tenure we have won the league 11 times and been runner up the other 4 times.


    I would take more of the same success rate in the next 15 years as we have enjoyed in the last 15.



    Let’s keep calm heads and see how we look at the end of transfer window.


    Hail Hail

  22. P.S: apologies for the teenage-like ramblings, I’ve been enjoying a few drams this evening.

  23. Half a bottle of Glenfiddich Select Cask polished off so far. I’ll regret it in the morning.

  24. Balornock Bhoy.


    Way too much sense there.


    Please rewrite, keeping in mind the hysterics of some on here these days.

  25. SFA and refs do what they do because they’re getting away with it – no criticism of their decisions, and no one outside scoddland is remotely interested.

  26. Auldheid






    Celtic board ;






    Tom Allison 69






    Brian Wilson 68






    Dermot Desmond 67






    Ian Bankier 65






    Peter Lowell 58









    Sharon Brown 48






    Christopher McKay 42









    Without being ageist – we need some younger thinking executives on our board, with different views on how to take us forward, and the ability to bring fresh ideas and fresh money into the club





    Indeed but without being ageist I think that at 72 there has to be room for an auld heid. :)

Do Not Sell My Personal Information