Celtic should limit loan transfers this summer ahead of crucial rebuild

By David Walton

June 14, 2021

When it comes to Celtic and their loan transfers, it’s a match made in heaven.

Or so the club seems to think. Every single year we add to our squad with a host of new loan signings that, as supporters, we immediately roll our eyes at these days.

Why? Because seldom are we getting ay joy from these deals. Over the last three years, Celtic have made a total of 12 loan signings for the football club. Truthfully, only four can be deemed as decent successes in the two deals for Mohamed Elyounoussi, the 2018 transfer of Filip Benkovic, and the acquisition of Odsonne Edouard. Even then, injury hampered Moi and Filip from realising their potential here.

You can see the sense in the loan system. It’s a great place to pick up quality players struggling to make an impact at their current club. It can allow you to bring good players to your club for free (with the exception of wages).

We’ve done our best to make it work over the last few years, and in fairness there have been some great temporary signings throughout our history. Patrick Roberts was a massive success between 2015 and 2017. Edouard’s work at Celtic speaks for itself. Going back further, the likes of Craig Bellamy left Parkhead a hero.

But for every Roberts there’s a Charly Musonda, Daniel Arzani, and Moritz Bauer. For every Edouard there’s an Olivier Burke and Jeremy Toljan. For every Elyounoussi there’s a Shane Duffy, Jonjoe Kenny, and Diego Laxalt.

Celtic haven’t gotten enough success from loan transfers

Celtic are spending a sizable chunk of their wage budget on these players. Players who, for the large part, have no real interest in joining for the long-term. Players who have largely failed to reignite their careers at Parkhead and have ultimately been a waste of money.

This season was a prime example of that. Duffy cost us £2m not including wages. Laxalt and Kenny, meanwhile, weren’t good enough to make a promising impact either. Elyounoussi can hold his head high, but even he went long spells out of form.

If we’re bringing a loan signing to the club in the near future, it has to be a game-changer. It needs to be a player who can take us to the next level. If the player doesn’t fit that profile, then we should be looking to find an alternative on a permanent deal.

Jonjoe Kenny was another failed loan project at Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We have a crucial summer period coming up in which need to rebuild a stable squad once again. Loan signings rob you of any stability. Almost as soon as they’ve signed, question marks are asked over their long-term futures. We don’t need that hanging over us this season.

As mentioned previously, loan signings have their place in the market. But Celtic have become far too reliant on them whilst failing to secure enough successful ones for it to be deemed a working policy.

It’s time to move on from our reliance on these kinds of transfers. From here on in it should be all about rebuilding and gelling a squad together for the next several years. A crucial summer lies ahead, let’s hope we don’t make the same mistake in the loan market this time around.

In other news, what Celtic must avoid after last week’s Postecoglou announcement.