Celtic could bag some major financial rewards this month if they decide to cash in on key players, but it must be avoided for now.
Indeed, Odsonne Edouard has been central to the transfer speculation throughout January. He’s been linked with moves for a high as £35million [Daily Star].
You then have Norwegian centre-back Kris Ajer’s long-term future. He’ll be into the final 12 months of his contract in the summer. After reported early-season interest from AC Milan [Glasgow Times], Celtic could cash in now for a hefty sum.
For both of these talents, the summer will see their values decrease. That’s just the nature of player valuations in relation to contract lengths.
Looking at the season and how it’s all gone to ruin, it will be a popular opinion at the minute to cash in on Edouard and Ajer now. Get our maximum value for both men and use it to strengthen in the summer. That would make for astute long-term planning, or so it would seem.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Could you imagine how we would be performing without the likes of Ajer and Eddy? Okay so the latter has been poor for most of the season, but he still has 12 goals to his name this season [Transfermarkt]. Take those away and we would be in an even worse state.
Celtic’s performances would decline further and we could continue to slump on an almost weekly basis. Not to mention the fact it would likely see us fail to win the Scottish Cup (if it gets played).
Celtic could get plenty of financial gain this month; but results would suffer
Let’s not pretend that Celtic fans would accept poorer results from January through to May. If we continued to slip up as regularly or more regularly than we are at the moment, fans will vilify the club further. Their decision to sell two key stars in January would also be looked at as a poor decision in hindsight.
Keeping your best players still gives you an opportunity to build a positive atmosphere around the place. If Celtic bring in a new manager before the summer, he could do with having Ajer and Edouard there to help him build some momentum.
We still have the Scottish Cup as well as two derby matches to come. Would you fancy going into these challenges without our two best players?
To suggest that we should just weaken the team for a bit of extra cash isn’t on. This is Celtic. We have to show as strong a side to ourselves as we can come the second half of the campaign. Winning is still all that matters regardless of the new manager.
The prospect of selling our best players is financially attractive. I get that. But it’s not as important as trying to get this football club back on track results-wise between now and the summer.
So for me, it’s best to close the door on January departures for our major players. We still need them more than it may appear to some.