Three things that have to be on Brendan Rodgers' Celtic wish list
Brendan Rodgers hopes to head into January sitting top of the Scottish Premiership and into the last 32 of the Europa League.
If that happens, along with a third straight Betfred Cup victory, things will be rosy in Celtic’s garden.
However, anything less than that and some may feel Celtic will panic buy in January to cover themselves.
Whether the Hoops have a good, bad or indifferent December, there’s three things Rodgers must ask for in the January sales.
Its no secret now that Mikael Lustig’s best days at Celtic are probably over.
The Swede has been an outstanding servant to the club since his move from Rosenborg. However, now is the time for Celtic to push the boat out and bring in some serious competition.
According to the Daily Record, Celtic were prepared to pay £7m for Cristiano Piccini, who moved from Sporting Lisbon to Valencia in the summer.
Surely that’s evidence enough to think Celtic are prioritising that position in their transfer plans.
Lustig could probably carry on until the end of the season, so Celtic should bring in a right-back now and ease him in.
A new right-back who is settled at the club would be a major asset for Celtic going into next year’s Champions League qualifiers.
Rodgers must prioritise signing a new experienced centre-back in the new year.
Dedryck Boyata’s future is still up in the air, so Celtic must be proactive in their approach to sorting out their defence.
If Boyata leaves, along with Filip Benkovic returning to Leicester in the summer, Celtic are in trouble. It leaves them with only Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer as realistic defensive options.
Jack Hendry is not good enough at the moment to be in Celtic’s defence every week. Whether Rodgers can work his magic on the young Scot remains to be seen.
An experienced centre-half may be able to help in that regard too. Of course Nir Bitton may be able to cover in defence too, but the fans will demand a proper solution to the problem.
A centre forward
Rodgers has to help his strike force out by replacing Moussa Dembele in January. He may opt to make a loan move to ease the burden until the summer.
He may however sign a striker permanently and try and bed him in ahead of the busy end of season/beginning of next season frenzy Celtic seem to endure every year.
Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths are the only two senior strikers at the club; for a club Celtic’s size that just will not do.
The amount of games in a season means competition in squads is healthy. Although Rodgers opts to play one up front, having one back up is not viable competition for the top spot.
Edouard and Dembele both started the season on fire, and if Celtic can replace Dembele with a quality alternative, Edouard and Griffiths will have more than each other to worry about.