ALTHOUGH much of the attention in the footballing world is currently on the battle for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that is currently being waged in Qatar, this shouldn’t distract you from the fact that there is a whole world of football quietly going on in the background!
And this is significant when considering how it relates to the coming and goings in the transfer windows.
This is something keen-eyed football sports betting fans have copped on to in recent weeks. As a result, there has been a significant amount of buzz generated on this related website and other betting platforms about who might be coming and going in the rest of the season.
For Celtic fans, this is a particularly pressing question, given that recent performances in the Champions League group stages haven’t exactly set the world alight! This has left fans and sports betting pundits alike questioning what the future holds for the Scottish squad.
With this question in mind, let’s take a look at what the rest of the year might hold for Celtic in terms of player transfers.
2022: the story so far
The 2022-23 season is Celtic’s 134th season of competitive football and has seen them compete in the Premiership, the League Cup, the Scottish Cup and the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
They have played incredibly well in the Premiership with 14 wins from 15 games, the only setback coming against St Mirren in Paisley on September 18. One of their best performances so far has come against Dundee United when they romped to a 9-0 triumph on August on August 28.
The League Cup has gone equally well, with the holders securing two easy four-goal victories over Ross County in Dingwall and Motherwell at Fir Park and they will now face Kilmarnock at Hampden on the Saturday evening of January 14 2023 in the semi-final.
The European excursion brought some painful lessons with home and away defeats against reigning champions Real Madrid and RB Leipzig while gaining successive 1-1 draws with Ukrainian title winners Shakhtar Donetsk.
What have Celtic FC got to play with?
Before we set out what transfers we can expect to see in the coming months and years, we should first check what exactly Celtic have to play with.
Currently, Celtic are fielding a 27-player squad that has a total of 19 foreign players. Of this squad, 14 are national team players. The squad is also relatively young, with an average age of just 26 years.
According to current estimates, the total market value of the Celtic squad is 109.40m euros. This is balanced against an annual revenue of around £60m in 2020/21. This represents a sharp decline from the 2019/20 financial year, which saw their revenue drop from £70m, which is still quite a way away from their all-time high of £101m reached in 2017/18.
In terms of how this might affect any transfers in the near or distant future, given that Celtic’s revenues have been on a downward slide for quite some time, we might expect them to be relatively conservative when it comes to player acquisitions.
However, Celtic’s fortunes appear to be turning around for the 2022 financial year. According to the most recent company filings, the Celtic group’s revenue increase to £88.2m, which represents a 45.2% increase year-on-year!
Whether or not this boost in revenue will translate into player acquisitions, however, remains to be seen.
What transfers might we see?
Although the transfer rumours have been relatively slow to come out this season, these might increase as Celtic’s profile is raised following their performance in the UEFA Champions League.
One transfer rumour that does look fairly certain is Alistair Johnston, who performed in all three of Canada’s World Cup games against Belgium (0-1), Croatia (1-4) and Morocco (1-2). It appears a deal around the £3.5million mark has been agreed with his MLS club CF Montreal.
With the American East Conference League completed, there is no reason for the move to be held up although the transfer cannot be rubberstamped until January 1 2023 when the transfer window reopens.
Japanese central defender Yuki Kobayashi has already agreed a five-year contract from J-League club Vissel Kobe and arrived in Scotland today.
He will train with his new team-mates at Lennoxtown, but, like any other new recruits, he cannot figure in first-team action until the turn of the year.
Celtic’s first game in 2023 is the January 2 visit to Ibrox for the traditional New Year fixture.