There are more than a few players who will likely be making some Celtic departures next month, but there are three who stand out for differing reasons.
It’s going to be one big January transfer window for the club, that’s for sure. Celtic are in a real title-race this season, with Rangers sitting just two points behind them. Hopefully, that gap increases to five heading into the window.
As always, fans’ eyes will be glued to the incomings at Celtic Park. On that, we hope there will be substantial quality coming in too. However, we really need to get some players off the wage-bill as well.
Here, we look at three players who Celtic simply have to get rid of:
Arguably the player on this list who can still contribute the most is Craig Gordon. Whenever he makes an appearance for the club, he’s always a reliable figure. However, mistakes and poor distribution means that he’ll never displace Fraser Forster so long as he remains at Parkhead.
Sure, Fraser may be away in the summer, but fans will generally want an upgrade on Gordon if that’s the case.
The main reason it’s so essential for Gordon to depart now is that we can still rake in a fee if he does. It may not be much, but his contract is up at the end of the season (Scottish Sun). There will be plenty of clubs interested in a man with such international and European experience like Craig.
It’s fair to say his time at Celtic has run its course. With Scott Bain still in reserve too, we’re still decently stocked, and you would hope that we would bring in another shot-stopper in January anyway.
Gordon has already said that January is a big month for him (BBC). His eyes are clearly on a Parkhead move, so there really is no point in delaying it.
Scott Sinclair can look back on his Celtic career with real pride. He managed to win four Player of the Year awards back in his first season at the club (Celtic Supporters’ POTY, Celtic fans’ POTY, PFA Scotland Players’ POTY, SWFA Footballer of the Year). That’s not even counting the 10 trophies he’s won since signing. During the treble-treble run, he also bagged 60 goals, leaving him the top scorer in the combined three seasons.
But his time here is surely up. When he’s been given opportunities this season, and there’s been seven of them, he just isn’t impressing. He seems to have lost a yard of pace, his composure isn’t great, and he gets too easily brushed off the ball. Unlike Gordon, he doesn’t really offer us much when he plays anymore. There’s been a clear steady decline since that stunning opening season.
Combine that with the same reason Gordon needs to be sold in that his contract is up (BBC), then it makes sense for Celtic to try and find him a club. Again, he’s had such a trophy-laden career here and has formerly played for the likes of Manchester City and Aston Villa respectively. There will undoubtedly be suitors.
We have nothing to gain by keeping Sinky on until the end of the season. We should know by now that he won’t be able to offer us much, and we have several players ahead of him in the left-wing position. Thanks for your service Scott, but January seems like the ideal time to part ways.
The big question we have to ask ourselves here is whether Eboue Kouassi is better than what we have. Is he? Absolutely not.
Unfortunately, the big Ivorian struggled to impress in his early appearances with the club, and it hasn’t gotten much better from there. His highlight was a positive display in a 1-0 Europa League win over Zenit two years ago. Since then, he’s played only in five more games for the club.
The £3m (Daily Record) signing has struggled with injury over the last 12 months in fairness, but Neil Lennon hasn’t included him in a single matchday squad this season. He arguably has Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Callum McGregor, Nir Bitton, and Luca Connell ahead of him in the pecking order. There’s just no route for him into the team at the moment.
Getting him a move could actually prove difficult given his lack of experience in senior football. He only managed 19 appearances with Krasnodar and 22 with ourselves (Transfermarkt). The lack of impressive performances could also be held against him.
Ideally, we would get him a loan move to another Scottish side. However, there’s not enough evidence of his quality for clubs to want to take a stab at a potential deal. But if there’s any chance we can offload the midfielder, it’s something we really should crack on with. He’s had three years now and we’ve had no return from him.