3 stay, 3 leave: The verdict on every Celtic player out of contract in 2022

By John McGinley

October 7, 2021

Like every year, Celtic are approaching the time to make key decisions on the futures of multiple squad members with expiring contracts.

Yes, it’s only October, but we’re just a couple of months away from those who have expiring deals from being able to negotiate an exit on a free transfer.

So, Ange Postecoglou and the staff at Celtic will need to make determinations on at least half a dozen players eventually.

Here’s our verdict on them all.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Leigh Griffiths

Yes, Griffiths is still a Celtic player, but surely not for long. After his surprise year-long contract extension of the summer, he is due to part ways with the Bhoys at the end of the current campaign. Currently on loan at Dundee and facing a multitude of problems, I just can’t see the Bhoys biting again on another high-earning contract. It’s time to move on.

Verdict: Let him leave

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Ross Doohan

Doohan, now 23, has always been tipped as a long-term prospect that Celtic rate and value. However, progress to the first-team has been blocked by the likes of Scott Bain, Vasilis Barkas and Conor Hazard. However, next year could well see a shakeup of the goalkeeping department and getting rid of higher earners and keeping on Doohan doesn’t sound too bad to me. Doohan is currently out on loan with Tranmere Rovers and we’re watching his progress closely.

Verdict: Extend his contract

Anthony Ralston

Ralston is the only first-team regular on this list. Celtic took up the option of the final year of his contract in June, extending his spell to the summer of 2022. Now, the signs are good he will be handed a new long-term contract. He’s performed well for Postecoglou and having him around as a squad option now seems viable after years in the wilderness.

Verdict: Extend his contract

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Kerr McInroy

McInroy has had an unfortunate path from the academy to the first-team squad, suffering a debilitating injury that kept him out for the past part of a year at a critical time for his development. Now 21, he’s yet to make a single appearance in a senior Celtic team and it doesn’t look like he ever will. The player himself admits this will probably be his last year at the club, despite an option existing for another 12 months.

Verdict: Let him leave

Ewan Henderson

I’ve been a fan of Henderson over the years but it really feels like his time is now running out at Celtic. Despite midfield problems over the last 18 months he hasn’t been able to convince Neil Lennon or Ange Postecoglou to give him a regular game. He’s at an age that requires week-to-week football to progress. It could be the best thing for his career if he now strikes his own path and finds first-team football elsewhere, like his brother Liam before him, who is now forging a good path in Italy.

Verdict: Let him leave

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Karamoko Dembele

Dembele’s situation is the most frustrating of all and it’s not really anybody’s fault. Many people expected him to leave in the summer, but his contract turned out to actually expire in 2022. Under Ange he looked set to finally be unleashed on a regular basis, featuring in his pre-season plans. However, a shocking tackle on him in the Bristol City game has kept him out for months and it could be a while yet until he’s back in a Celtic shirt. If he wants to stay, he deserves another contract and a run in the team to show what he can do, otherwise fans will always think, ‘what if?’

Verdict: Sign him up

In other news, Liam Scales addresses his lack of Celtic game time with Irish media.

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