Celtic only have themselves to blame for Ben Davies collapse

By David Walton

February 1, 2021

If truth be told, Celtic only have themselves to blame for failing to snap up Ben Davies.

Sky Sports had reported last week that the Hoops had agreed a pre-contract deal with the Preston centre-back. However, Liverpool have jumped in on deadline-day and look set to seal his signature instead [Sky Sports]

The Athletic stated this morning that Celtic had been left “gutted” with the late blow. Especially considering we had seemingly been in talks to sign him permanently this month too [Scottish Sun].

Now, Celtic are left in a late dash for centre-back cover. We’re getting later and later into the day and now we have no obvious targets. Not since the prospect of a move for Japhet Tanganga was shut down by Spurs [Sky Sports Live Transfer blog; 01/02, 3:03pm].

But the truth is we have absolutely nobody to blame but ourselves for a frustrating window that more or less sums up our season.

Celtic could’ve had Ben Davies in the door before now

You simply leave yourself open to this when you leave business so late in the window. Davies has been available to sign on a pre-contract since the beginning of the year.

With Davies reportedly signing for Liverpool in a deal worth only £2million, he was there to snap up now [Daily Mail]. Why Celtic didn’t make an approach for him earlier in the window is anyone’s guess. He would’ve been affordable and could’ve sorted out our irritating centre-back issue.

You can operate like this if you’re Liverpool. Given their current position in world, European, and English football, they’ll always be an attractive proposition regardless of what time in the window it is. We don’t have that luxury given the absolute embarrassment of a season we’ve had.

Celtic wanted to sign Ben Davies but Liverpool swooped in / (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Preston boss Alex Neil said earlier this week that he hadn’t heard anything regarding Davies potentially moving on [Lancashire Post]. That suggests there wasn’t an intense level of interest earlier on in the window. Or at least that no offers had come in for him.

Had Celtic made an approach earlier, it wouldn’t have guaranteed them Davies’ signature. But we would’ve known where we stood early on in the window. Giving him up until deadline day to make his decision left us open to this sucker punch.

Now, we find ourselves desperately looking to bring an alternative in before the deadline. Our January approach just typifies the frustrating way in which the club has operated this season.

In other news, Celtic are looking to strengthen in yet another position higher up the pitch before the deadline.