Celtic have a big transfer window ahead of them. Arguably, it’s the most significant since Brendan Rodgers came in.
With the right business, the Bhoys could put the pieces in place for a historic 10-in-a-row. Get it wrong, or lose any of our best players, and the job is that much harder.
Never mind the departures though, who are Celtic firmly linked with, and how likely is it that we can snare our targets this January?
Alfie Doughty, Charlton Athletic
Having had bids rejected in September, Celtic are undoubtedly keen on Charlton Athletic winger Alfie Doughty. With his immediate future in doubt (The Athletic), the London-born wide man might be Paradise-bound if the right offer is made.
Compared to Gareth Bale, Doughty is primarily a left-sided midfielder but he can cover the positions up and down the flank with his immense pace and work rate.
His end-product isn’t exceptional, but it’s getting better (Transfermarkt). He’s nearly reached the numbers he achieved in 29 games last season, after only 7 appearances in 20-21. Granted, that’s in a tier below the one he was playing in for Charlton in 19-20.
It’d be a wrench for the Londoner to leave home but at 21, the time is right for him to move on with his career and test himself on the European stage.
He probably wouldn’t be particularly cheap, especially with other clubs vying for his services. Still, he’s an excellent choice as a long-term replacement for Mohammed Elyounoussi.
The move seems on, but don’t expect it to be most straight-forward of Celtic signings.
Mark McKenzie, Philadelphia Union
Hold on, I thought MLS sensation Mark McKenzie had all but signed for Genk?
Not quite yet. As ever, transfer business is wrought with twists and turns, and we might not have seen the back of this deal. Celtic already had bids for the American defender rejected in October (Kristian Dyer, via Twitter), and it’s clear that the Bhoys are still keen to make this move happen.
Sure, Genk is a tempting option. As well as the Belgian league, a number of American youngsters have enjoyed success in the Bundesliga and in mainland Europe more broadly.
However, Celtic can virtually guarantee European football every year, and that’s a tempting prospect for any young player looking to take the next step in their career.
It worked wonders for Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk, as McKenzie is aware (Sky Sports).
Re: McKenzie to Celtic – this one isn’t done until it’s done. Until the ink is dry on a contract for a club elsewhere, the American defender could well sign for the Bhoys. Now I read that back, that’s true of literally every signing, but you know what I mean.
Bright Osayi-Samuel, QPR
Do you like wingers? Specifically, do you like wingers who are young, pacy and take on players relentlessly? Then you’ll like Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Only 22, the winger is plying his trade in the English Championship, in which he’s scored 3 and assisted 2 in 20 appearances (WhoScored?).
Unless you’ve been hibernating for all of 2020, you’ll know that Celtic are in dire need of pacy wingers to widen the Bhoys’ play. Admittedly, Neil Lennon is using a midfield diamond just now, but that’s as much down to circumstance as it is opportunity.
We’ve missed James Forrest’s production, while Mikey Johnston has been missing. Scott Sinclair is at Preston North End, and we’ll probably be linked with Patrick Roberts until he’s been retired for a decade or two.
Osayi-Samuel is a raw talent, no doubt. His discipline is questionable; he picks up too many cards for a winger. However, if Lenny can harness his strengths and get him firing, then we’ve made a good signing.