After an incredible win on Sunday, we analyse Celtic’s transfer window after a chaotic week.
Brendan Rodgers’ men wrapped up a hectic period with a vital 1-0 win over Rangers. Olivier Ntcham’s goal was enough to see off the threat of Steven Gerrard’s side.
Despite the positives, however, it’s important not to lose sight of the transfer window. Celtic had a real high on Sunday, but it wasn’t long ago supporters were furious at the board and Chief Executive Peter Lawwell.
This was for good reason also.
Celtic started the transfer window by seeing Patrick Roberts head back to Manchester City. Erik Sviatchenko, Stuart Armstrong, and Moussa Dembele were all sold at different stages of the window.
Therefore, Celtic had real gaps to fill. Where Celtic fans are furious is that it appears very little attempt was made to actually do that.
Scott Bain, Emilio Izaguirre, Youssouf Mulumbu, Daniel Arzani, and Filip Benkovic were all brought in. How much did Celtic pay for them? Nothing. It’s good business from a financial perspective, but money wasn’t spent on high-quality replacements.
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Only Odsonne Edouard commanded a fee in the summer. The Frenchman was signed from PSG for £9million in the transfer window. Yet, with £7m coming in from Armstrong and a further £20m from Dembele’s move to Lyon, money was there.
Celtic may have sold Dembele during the final stage of the window, but how a replacement wasn’t lined up is mesmerising. The club may have been thrown off by Dembele’s attitude, but that should’ve have affected replacements.
Added to that, supporters’ fury comes from the fact that the club failed to strengthen for the Champions League. Therefore, Celtic were easily disposed of by AEK Athens. Not surprisingly, this came down to three big defensive errors.
Celtic gambled by not recruiting at the back, and it cost them.
A lack of squad depth also led the Hoops to allow Dedryck Boyata to return to the fold. It now seems as though the Belgian is on the verge of turning things around at the club.
Meanwhile, looking at the signings, only Edouard can be considered a success so far. Arzani hasn’t been seen yet, whilst several others try and get up to speed.
Lawwell has consistently hammered home the fact that Celtic look to come out of each transfer window stronger than when they went in. To say that’s happened this time around would be ridiculous.
Instead, the Hoops have barely strengthened and decided to sell their best players. That Boyata was allowed to be thrown back in shows how desperate the club has left Rodgers.
Overall, it’s been a shambolic transfer window. Masked by the fact Celtic beat Rangers on Sunday, the Hoops have failed to strengthen.
January will come around soon, but Lawwell and the Celtic board should pray Rodgers gets past the group stages of the Europa League.