Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that he definitely wants two right-backs in this summer.
Celtic’s urgent need for a Mikael Lustig replacement continues to be the top priority of the transfer window. Still we wait an arrival to take that spot, but big question marks also hover over how many right-backs we could bring into the club too.
Lustig, Cristian Gamboa, and Jeremy Toljan all left the club at the end of last season. As it stands, only Anthony Ralston is available at right-back as a natural. Kristoffer Ajer, of course, has also proven himself capable in the position.
And it’s clear Lennon sees a desperate need to add a bit of quantity at right-back too. Speaking to the press on Celtic TV, the Northern Irishman confirmed he wants two right-backs in instead of one this summer.
“We’re working away (on the right-backs). The right-back is a really difficult position to find. We’ve been looking for a long long time. So we still have plenty of options and we’re still working away in the background to bring one or two in.
“We definitely want to bring two in. Hopefully we can bring one in of the right quality – the sooner the better.”
Two right-backs in the door and it’s bad news for Ralston
So there it is, Lennon’s intention this summer is to definitely bring in two right-backs. That would leave two signings ahead of Anthony Ralston, who you could potentially argue would therefore be fourth choice behind Ajer.
Earlier this week, we spoke about whether it was finally time to say goodbye to Ralston at Celtic. It certainly seems as though time isn’t on his side anymore. He’s had his chances, and if Lennon is successful in his recruitment, he’ll be so far down the pecking order that a move would be best for his career.
There seems to be some real problems with our recruitment when it comes to the right-back targets, however. Lennon has stated that Celtic have been searching for a long time. He then said that it’s a difficult position to find talent, but that there are still plenty of options.
It’s difficult to know what to make of all that. It certainly doesn’t sound as though we’re far down the line with anything at the moment. We could definitely do with getting one in before we face Nomme Kalju next week. Given the registration deadline is tomorrow, however, that looks optimistic (UEFA, page 43)
There’s going to come a time when Celtic seriously need to make a breakthrough here. A right-back, if we’re being serious with ourselves, should’ve been in long ago. We’ve known what the situation was going to be like this summer.
We all knew that Toljan and Gamboa were leaving. Celtic clearly also knew they weren’t going to be giving Lustig a new contract for a little while too. There’s been far more than a few weeks to have been searching targets. At the very least, Lennon has made his stance clear, and his wishes would see Celtic well covered in the position if the board can get the two he’s after.