Pundit thinks Eddie Howe may already be planning for next season at Celtic

By David Walton

May 11, 2021

Eddie Howe may already planning for next season at Celtic, according to Murdo MacLeod.

The Howe to Celtic saga has rumbled on for far too long. The first time he was ever linked with a move to Celtic was back when Neil Lennon was still in charge in January [The Sun]. It’s also been over a month since Howe was reported to have agreed in principle to take the job [Scottish Sun].

The latest? Howe is said to be piecing together his backroom staff for next season [Daily Mail print edition, 28/04, page 83]. But fans are mainly concerned at the lack of an announcement yet given the massive rebuild that awaits us. Well over 10 players will be needed this summer, yet with just under two months before the Champions League qualifiers begin, we still don’t officially have a manager.

But MacLeod doesn’t think that’s too concerning. Instead, he believes that if an agreement is in place, Howe has already started his planning for next year.

“Everybody will be giving the new manager some details”

Speaking on the Celtic Huddle Podcast, MacLeod said: “I’ve felt with Eddie, if he’s been tied up with Celtic for the last six or seven weeks, then he’s been using his knowledge in England to pick out players who are going to be available to Celtic.

“Because obviously, so many people will be saying to the new manager before he even comes to Celtic ‘this one’s not going to be here and this one’s not going to be here. This one’s going, we’ll get money for them but you’ve got to go and get a new centre-back. You’ve got to get a new centre-forward. You’ve got to bring in better quality than we’ve got just now’.

“So everybody will be giving the new manager some details on who to get rid of and keep.”

If Eddie Howe hasn’t already started work for next season, Celtic are in trouble

This is probably why there is so much fear surrounding the supports. Because if the work hasn’t already begun on that front, Celtic as a club will be in major bother.

But this idea that Howe is going to walk into Celtic with no idea what the state of play is, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s been reported in the past that the Englishman has been doing his due diligence on the club in recent months [Scottish Sun].

That due diligence won’t simply be the club’s history and tradition. It won’t just be about their previous managers and how they identify as a club. It’ll also be on the squad they currently have and how they’re looking ahead of the summer window.

Eddie Howe in 2009 / (Photo by David Ashdown/Getty Images)

Howe will have a fair idea of what he wants if he’s confirmed as the next Celtic manager. He’ll have been working far too long in the background to not have a solid grasp of what’s required.

If he’s been talking to the club for the last six or seven weeks, do you really think all of those discussions will have been on his wage? Or how long a contract he’ll be on? And do you think Celtic would sit back and allow him to stall for weeks without any contingency plans?

Let’s not be silly. Howe will likely be forming a summer strategy as we speak. It should mean that, when Celtic do appoint him, he’s really to get cracking immediately.

In other news, a reported Celtic target has today been bigged up by John Kennedy ahead of tomorrow night.