Chris Sutton identifies the 3 areas Celtic still need to strengthen this month

By David Walton

January 9, 2022

Chris Sutton believes there are 3 areas of the Celtic first-team squad that still need strengthening this month.

Ange Postecoglou has already brought 4 players to the club so far with January having yet to hit double digits in terms of days gone. Indeed, Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, and Johnny Kenny have all joined the cause as the Hoops have looked to add to their squad.

In addition to that, a host of players are due to return from injury after the winter break comes to an end. The likes of James Forrest, Chris Jullien, Jota, and Giorgos Giakoumakis will hopefully be ready for action in what will be a major boost for Ange in terms of squad depth.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

However, Sutton still believes further recruits are needed ahead of our title push in 2022. Speaking via his Daily Record column, Chris said: “Another centre half is a must. Stephen Welsh does an okay job but going forward I think it’s an area where they need a better quality of player. Some have mentioned John Souttar. He’s a talented guy and if they could get him on the cheap then why not? But he’s a right centre half and if you were asking a straight pick between him and Carter-Vickers I would take the American international.

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“Other areas that could need covered? They definitely need another left-back and another keeper as back-up to Joe Hart. Scott Bain hasn’t been that impressive and I reckon Postecoglou will have his eye on another keeper.

“When it comes to recruitment Ange’s record has been pretty good so far. He might not have got them all right but when you go back to the Lee Congerton era and some of the players that came in then, there were a lot of signings that didn’t work. Postecoglou coming in late as he did has done well and has shown he should be trusted in the transfer market and this one in the middle of the season is really important.”

Chris Sutton not wrong; Celtic still need improvements in some key areas

It’s not quite job done in January just yet. Yes you can look at the Celtic squad and say there are plenty of numbers there. That’s all well and good, but the big question is whether the quality is also present.

Celtic have 4 goalkeepers, but only 1 of them is up to it in terms of quality. Can we honestly say that we trust Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, or Conor Hazard to do a job if Hart is sidelined? Celtic need to focus on shifting 2 of those 3 and finding a proper back-up to Hart.

In terms of a left-back, that’s another where there’s plenty of depth but not a lot of quality. Never in a million years should Josip Juranovic still be getting pulled over from the right. Liam Scales is a decent squad member as is Greg Taylor, but we still don’t have a player the quality of Josip or Anthony Ralston down the left side.

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The only area I would question the need for reinforcements is at centre-half. Look at the options we have in that position. Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stephen Welsh, and Chris Jullien should be more than enough to mount a serious title challenge over the next few months.

There may be question marks over Starfelt in particular. However, its at the stage where any mistake he makes is highlighted to an unfair degree. No, he didn’t perform well in the run-up to the winter break. But already some are forgetting his fine run of form between September and November.

Celtic are close to having the squad strong enough to compete and potentially win the title this year. However, there remain some serious tweaks to be made.

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