Celtic manager speaks out about transfer deadline day

By David Walton

February 5, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has spoken out about what happened on transfer deadline day.

The Hoops disappointed many when they failed to announce a new signing before the window had closed. Rumours had been circulating all day about who the Hoops would potentially sign too.

Names ranged from the likes of Victor Wanyama (Sky Sports) to Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu (Sky Sports). In the end, nobody ended up coming through the door. Lewis Morgan confirmed his move to Inter Miami, but that was about that.

Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

And touching on just what went on during deadline-day, Lennon stated in the Daily Record that he believed the club was close to a deal.

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“I was at work, at the stadium. That’s always the case on the last day of the transfer window in case something comes up.

“I thought we were close but we couldn’t get it done so that’s the end of it. I’m happy with the ins. We’ve streamlined a little bit as well, players who needed to get games.

“I wasn’t disappointed (not to bring in experience). You don’t get your hopes up, put it that way. You look and shop around but clubs want to hold onto their players and players have their own agendas.”

The only positive worth mentioning

Nobody can lay the finger of blame onto Lennon for how deadline day panned out. It was clear that he was just like the rest of us and hopeful that we would get something over the line.

However, where Celtic did impress during the window was, as Lennon said, in ridding the club of some deadwood. Scott Sinclair, Lewis Morgan, Eboue Kouassi, and Jack Hendry all left. Granted, the latter two have only departed on loan deals.

In addition to that, the likes of youngsters such as Lee O’Connor and Jonathan Afolabi were also sent out on loan for more game-time. It was productive in that sense, and combined with keeping a hold of all of our top players, you can’t say the window was any sort of disaster.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There is always a disappointment, however, when deadline day goes without a single signing coming in. It’s clear that the effort was put in, but you struggle to believe that Lennon is pleased despite a lack of experience being signed. That’s exactly what he said he was after at the start of the window (The Herald).

Yet it’s funny how a result or two allows the club and supporters to move on. Rangers’ 0-0 draw at Aberdeen combined with our own success at Hamilton put us seven points clear at the top of the Premiership. That seemed to ease the deadline day disappointment, and to an extent, it should given we’re a step closer to our primary goal.

However, it’s still difficult to shake the feeling that we could’ve been more explosive in the window. It’s important to strengthen from a position of strength. Did Celtic do that? Time will tell.