Former Celtic centre-back Gary Caldwell has hailed the Hoops’ transfer masterstrokes as he highlighted the signings of Shane Duffy and David Turnbull respectively.
Duffy was signed last week on a one-year loan deal from Brighton as the Hoops looked to patch up their defensive issues which had been on show during the early stages of the campaign.
Turnbull, meanwhile, arrived at the end of August in a deal that could cost Celtic as much as £3.25million (BBC). After a glowing start to his career at Motherwell, he injects real energy and strength to the Parkhead club’s midfield options.
And Caldwell, once signed by Gordon Strachan, believes that Celtic have worked wonders in bringing them in after impressive debuts from both in Saturday’s 5-0 hammering of Ross County in Dingwall.
As quoted in the Scottish Sun, Caldwell said: “When you’re used to winning you don’t need to make lots of signings. It’s about adding quality and I think Celtic have done that.
“Turnbull and Duffy have really brought something to the squad that improves them. It’s not just about being good players themselves, it’s about them improving the players around them.
“How you guard against complacency in a winning team is by creating competition. That’s what drives players.”
Competition all over the squad? Not quite yet
Turnbull’s arrival adds some genuine quality to the midfield spots. Whilst Celtic have the likes of Ismaila Soro and Luca Connell in the background, Turnbull brings with him some Premiership experience and massive potential.
As for Duffy, he’s automatically a first pick already. He gives Celtic some real aggression at the back and leaves just two other spots in the backline to fight for if Neil Lennon persists with the 3-5-2.
You can pick just about every position now in the Celtic squad and you’ll find genuine battles for first-team places everywhere. Well, almost everywhere.
Greg Taylor remains the only left-back option at the club, which gives Lennon an issue when he needs to switch to back four. The club will be determined to sort that area out before the transfer window ends next month.
James Forrest perhaps has some competition in a 3-5-2 with Jeremie Frimpong threatening to be a constant as a right-sided full-back. However, again, Jeremie will likely drop into right back when Lennon switches to a defensive four or five, leaving Forrest as the only natural right-winger.
So whilst the manager’s formation change has, to an extent, changed how certain players fit into his system, it would be a lie to say we have competition everywhere in the squad. Another two signings though and that will indeed be the case.