3 more players that could leave Celtic in January after 18 summer departures
Celtic certainly managed to trim the fat when it came to summer exits from the club.
As many as 18 players left Parkhead either on loan or on a permanent basis. Indeed, 12 of those who departed won’t be coming back, with six out on temporary spells away from the Hoops.
However, that’s not to say Celtic are done when it comes to getting rid of some of the deadwood. There is still some work to be done in that regard even if most of the wantaways left in the summer.
Here, we take a look at three more who could head out the Parkhead exit door:
1. Boli Bolingoli
There’s no future at Celtic for Boli Bolingoli. That’s been made abundantly clear considering where he is when it comes to squad selection.
The Belgian hasn’t played a single minute of competitive action under Ange Postecoglou this season. He also wasn’t used in pre-season either, meaning his last game of any real relevance came at the end of last season with Istanbul Basaksehir.
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He would’ve hoped that a new manager was going to represent a fresh start for him. Given what happened last season with his Covid breach, he could’ve done with new management. But for one reason or another, Postecoglou doesn’t rate him.
It’s difficult to know whether that’s coming from a lack of quality or a distate for what happened last year. Even so, he isn’t part of Celtic’s Europa League squad either, which suggests even the manager doesn’t expect a breakthrough anytime soon.
He needs to leave the club at the next available opportunity. January looks like being the ideal time for him to depart.
2. Luca Connell
Progress on Luca Connell’s career has been paused ever since he came to Celtic.
The Hoops supporters really took to this one when it was announced. A talented young Republic of Ireland U21 international, this looked like one for the future. Signing under Neil Lennon back in the summer of 2019, this looked like a talent well spotted.
But it quickly became clear that there was no route into the first-team for the midfielder. He hasn’t played a single competitive minute since joining the club. Even with Postecoglou in charge, Connell hasn’t been one of the names to have come up from the academy and be given a shot.
Celtic don’t have tremendous depth in midfield, yet still Connell is nowhere near the first-team scene. He’s gone from playing Championship football with Bolton to just coming off a loan spell in League Two with Queen’s Park.
It’s difficult to know what Celtic’s plan for Connell actually is. His spell with Queen’s ended with him being lauded and having won the League Two title. So what was next for him? Absolutely nothing of any substance by the look of it.
Connell needs to make a decision on his long-term future now. Whether he leaves on loan or permanently, a January exit makes sense for all parties. It’s time to stop pretending this will one day work out.
3. Conor Hazard
When you’re the fourth choice at any football club, it’s time for you to move on.
That’s the position where Conor Hazard unfortunately finds himself in. Despite being given a flurry of first-team opportunities last season, the Northern Irishman, at 23, needs games.
He’s stated in the past that he needs first-team football to continue his international aspirations [Belfast Telegraph]. He wasn’t wrong in that respect. And he’s another who hasn’t been given a single minute of competitive action under the new manager.
Instead we have Joe Hart, Vasilis Barkas, and Scott Bain taking the opportunities. For whatever reason, Postecoglou has deemed Hazard to be the lowest on his list when it comes to his goalkeeping candidates.
Last season, he extended his contract until the summer of 2023. It must be stressed of course that this was before Postecoglou came in the door. With only 18 months coming up on his contract, it would be wise for Celtic to cash in this January.
Make no mistake, it’s a move he would likely jump at too. All things going well, Hart is Celtic’s number one for the long-term. That’s not something Hazard will want to entertain at his age.
A January exit, therefore, makes sense for everyone here.