Ange gives 'mission accomplished' transfer verdict despite piling Celtic injuries

By Euan Davidson

January 25, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has said what he won’t do as Celtic manager this month; sign players for the sake of it, even amidst yet another injury crisis.

Celtic, it seems, just cannot keep a fit squad together for extended stretches of time. At the weekend, Callum McGregor, Yosuke Ideguchi and Liel Abada all come off worse for wear against Alloa Athletic.

With Tom Rogic on international duty, and David Turnbull recovering from a hamstring problem suffered in the Premier Sports Cup Final, the midfield once again has some issues.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, what Ange and Celtic won’t do is panic buy. Though the temptation is there, the Celtic boss was emphatic about whether the newest injury pile-up would affect his transfer plans.

But it’s ‘mission accomplished’, says the Celtic boss, who could unleash new Bhoy Matt O’Riley tomorrow night against Hearts.

Postecoglou said at today’s press conference [Celtic FC]: “No, no. I mean, I think the strategy we had going into the transfer window, we’ve accomplished what we want to accomplish.

“From now on it’s about sort of solidifying the group, continuing to play. We’ll be in a better place when the players get through their different rehabs.

“Hopefully come the business end of the year, we’ve got the strong squad we need.”

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Ange and Celtic set to stay the course despite mounting injury concerns

The thing about signing players during a spate of injuries? The injured players recover.

Then, you’re left with a squad bloated in certain positions, and that doesn’t really suit anyone. To avoid that is the sensible decision here, no doubt about it.

While the temptation is surely there for Ange Postecoglou, a manager who has no problem identifying targets for Celtic to follow up on, he doesn’t seem the trigger-happy type. At Celtic, he never has; he’s been decisive and busy when he needed, but no signings were made for the sake of it.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Honestly, there should be enough quality to see us through the set of challenges we face over the next few weeks. Hearts will be tricky as per, but Hatate and O’Riley provide real technical skill. Either of them could unlock a defence, based on what we’ve seen.

The same is true for Dundee United. As for Rangers, it’s not as if they’ll be at full strength either. There’s enough quality, skill and enterprise to get through these games with what we have at the moment.

That said, you have to go back to Ange’s comments about stepping under a ladder, earlier this season [Daily Record]. His luck has been absolutely rotten when it comes to player fitness. Before we apportion any blame on the “intensity”, either, these latest injuries have been due to knocks and on-pitch incidents.

Ange Postecoglou came into this January transfer window with a vision of how to improve the Celtic squad. He’s done that.

Despite the set-backs, it’s still a window we can be satisfied with.

Read more: Celtic boss addresses Christopher Jullien return and what he has to do to start games