Celtic can't afford to wait on Maloney to deal with recruitment

By David Walton

June 1, 2021

There’s no denying the Celtic link with Shaun Maloney is an exciting one.

The Daily Record reported last night that Peter Lawwell has held talks with the former Parkhead winger about a role with the club next season. This comes as he prepares to take Belgium to Euro 2020 as a first-team coach under Roberto Martinez.

It’s an idea that certainly has fans excited, and you can see why. Maloney has been praised highly in the past for his attention to detail [Scottish Sun], and even just his employment with Belgium shows how highly he’s regarded.

However, what wasn’t discussed was what kind of a role he would have. It wasn’t mentioned whether he would be coming in as a first-team coach or whether he would be more involved in background work at Celtic such as recruitment and club culture.

Bizarrely, the Record stated in their report that Celtic were happy to wait and were in no rush to make the appointment. Therefore, that simply has to suggest his role has absolutely nothing to do with recruitment.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

Celtic can’t wait until mid-July for Maloney before pressing ahead with the rebuild

If Maloney wants to wait until after Euro 2020 to decide his future, that will be some time yet. The Belgians have every chance of winning the competition this summer, and will be in the latter stages at the very least. That could mean they don’t finish up until after the final on July 11th.

That date is less than two weeks before Celtic are due to face their first Champions League qualifier. Just as important is the fact that we’ll already have played two pre-season games and be well into our prep work in Wales. Maloney would hardly be joining us at an ideal time.

Therefore, it’s essential that recruitment kicks on without him even if it will be part of his remit. Celtic have an absolutely devastating overhaul on their hands this summer and it needs to kick into gear as soon as the transfer window opens. Waiting until mid-July would be disastrous for so many reasons.

Shaun Maloney back when he was coaching Celtic under-20s (Photo by Ross MacDonald – SNS GroupSNS Group via Getty Images)

That also doesn’t just mean that only players scouted by the club before the manager came in should be announced either. If it is to be Ange Postecoglou, he needs to come in with some blockbuster signing targets in mind. Players he believes he can bring to the club that will make an instant impact.

Our rebuild won’t be anywhere near complete when we kickstart our camp in Wales. It’s unreasonable to even suggest that it should be. But Celtic should be on their way by that stage and already have a couple or a few faces in the door.

Even if Maloney is going to be tackling recruitment, and there’s no confirmation of that yet, work needs to start long before he makes his decision.

In other news, how Celtic could land Kevin Nisbet on the cheap.