Ange and Nicholson can surely take a transfer breather after Celtic sew up O'Riley deal

By Euan Davidson

January 21, 2022

Ange Postecoglou and Celtic CEO Michael Nicholson; take a bow, lads.

We’re only just in the 21st day of January, and it’s been a near-perfect transfer window. In terms of incomings, Celtic acted quickly and clinically. Reo Hatate already has whatever they hand out for Man of the Match awards. Daizen Maeda, a goal to settle the nerves. Ideguchi, the minutes to suggest real promise.

Johnny Kenny is equipped for an exciting future, and now Matt O’Riley has joined the club, adding creativity and guile to the number 8 position.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In short, we’ve done everything we needed, in terms of building the squad. And while it’s tempting to catch transfer fever and ask for more, it’s hard to know where else we could realistically improve the club at this point. If Ange Postecoglou and Michael Nicholson were sharing a glass of something strong and celebrating a job well done last night, you couldn’t blame them.

Of course, more players need opportunities elsewhere. Adam Montgomery and Osaze Urhoghide need loans. Vasilis Barkas and Boli Bolingoli need to go. But even if nothing materialised, this would still be one of the most remarkable January transfer windows in recent memory for Celtic supporters.

In goals, Joe Hart is the incumbent. Scott Bain has a new contract, Tobi Oluwayemi is progressing nicely. In both full-back slots, we’re well-equipped, while Jullien’s return means we have four very capable centre-backs. The midfield is now rife with talent in each role. Up front, when everyone’s match-fit, the options are frightening.

What more is there to do?

“Celtic have secured another bargain here” | Matt O’Riley insight with Cai Jones

“Celtic have secured another bargain here” | Matt O’Riley insight with Cai Jones
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Ange Postecoglou and Michael Nicholson entitled to reflect on job well done after latest Celtic deal

What Celtic don’t need is a bloated squad. If anything, you could argue that’s what we have now, although the situation has admittedly improved. Conor Hazard’s one-year loan was a necessity. As was jettisoning Leigh Griffiths from the wage bill.

More outgoing loans will be crucial. And while Celtic fans will be longing for Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota to stay beyond this season, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a situation resolved in January. Ange Postecoglou insists that will be sorted in due time [Record], and it seems wise to trust him on that.

It would be churlish to argue, though, that more significant expenditure is needed. Perhaps some extra quality at centre-back? It’s been suggested, but Celtic have already rejected bids for Stephen Welsh, and Jullien’s return is promising.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Elsewhere, maybe another winger? Who knows, but the hard work has been done. Anything else now is a useful option, a luxury, even. Nobody would complain, of course.

But what’s key is that Ange Postecoglou and Michael Nicholson identified problems, and have by all appearances fixed them.

That’s how you negotiate a January window. No waffling, no obfuscation, just solid business.

Read more: Celtic winger Jota says new terrace song is a childhood favourite