Celtic hero Chris Sutton has called upon the club’s new Head of Football Operations Nick Hammond to start a process of long-term planning at the club.
Englishman Hammond was appointed into the new role earlier this week following a successful trial period during the summer window. Sutton is a fan of the appointment but hopes that it ends the “working on the hoof” mentality that has cost the club in Europe several times in the past decade.
Sutton told the Daily Record: “It’s a huge period for Celtic and he has to get the club away from the annual situation of scrambling for new recruits in the midst of a European qualifying campaign.
“How often have we seen them going in to key games without a centre-half or a right-back? Hammond’s appointment has to be the end of working on the hoof.
“There must be planning for the short, medium and long-term. Celtic can’t afford to be caught with their pants down like they were when Dembele left on deadline day in summer 2018.”
Sutton wants Hammond to plan ahead – as do the Celtic support
Hammond will be judged on the quality of the players he helps to bring in to the club but also the timing at which he does it. You could argue that this summer’s window was an overall success but the majority of the signings were made at near the end of August after we had been knocked out of the Champions League.
Hammond will be tasked with preparing the squad as best as possible for next season’s qualifiers with some January acquisitions probably necessary to help bed players in.
There’s also the real likelihood that we could lose the likes of Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard next summer and those guys must be replaced well in advance. Although Sutton raises the point on Moussa Dembele’s departure, it’s actually not a great example.
The club had Edouard ready to step in when his compatriot moved on and its turned out that we’ve barely missed the Lyon man. If we can recruit our next Edouard and McGregor this January then that would be an ideal scenario.
Hopefully Hammond has that sort of succession plan in mind.