The signing of Oliver Burke makes perfect sense for Celtic, despite the fan anger to the deal.
Burke has arrived on-loan from West Bromwich Albion in just a six-month loan deal. Supporters aren’t particularly fuming over the player himself, but more the short-term nature of the deal.
The idea is that Celtic are once again just progressing other teams’ players without putting building blocks in place.
There is also another way to look at this deal, however.
First of all, and like it or not, Celtic are in a title-race. The 1-0 defeat at Ibrox was enough to confirm that, and whether you rate Rangers or not as a team, they’re right behind the Hoops in the Premiership table.
Celtic can’t particularly afford to look beyond the summer too much. Certainly not at the expense of the next five months either.
With Rangers tooling up and expected to sign Jermaine Defoe and Steven Davis, they’ll improve again. Getting Burke in until the end of the season ensures that he can be used to halt Rangers’ title-charge and help stave off Celtic’s immediate threat.
Celtic desperately needed cover for James Forrest
Then there’s the fact that Celtic have no real quality cover for James Forrest.
With Burke available to play anywhere across the attacking midfield, he’s a great acquisition to take the burden off of a player who seriously needs a rest.
Whenever Forrest has dropped out this season, the likes of Jonny Hayes or Lewis Morgan have replaced him. To categorise them, he’s been replaced by players who just aren’t good enough.
There’s no guaranteeing that Burke will be an immediate success either, but he’s a step-up from the pair.
There’s then the fact that Scott Sinclair needs some real competition this season. His performances have been poor for nearly a year-and-a-half at this stage. Bringing Burke in to compete with him could finally help him rediscover some form, but we’ve said that before.
It’s mainly more important that Celtic simply have some quality cover down both flanks. Burke can provide that alongside the talented Mikey Johnston.
With Daniel Arzani targeting a comeback next season, having Burke in for the short-term could help the club do a turn before the return of the Manchester City starlet.
Is it the most ambitious signing? Probably not. Are there other wingers that could’ve come in instead? Undoubtedly. Does the signing make sense? Yes.