Celtic rivals' transfer work means nothing; time to stop worrying about it

By David Walton

May 10, 2021

Kris Commons has today compared Celtic and Rangers’ transfer activity as he believed our Ibrox foes have made a signal of intent.

In what way? By signing a 14-goal striker from Oostende named Fashion Sakala. Yes, Rangers have made their first signing of the summer and it looks at face value like an underwhelming one.

Even so, it’s something that clearly irked Commons as Celtic have still to announce their new manager. Speaking in his Daily Mail column today [print edition, The Verdict Supplement, page 16], he said: “The pre-contract signing of Zambian striker Fashion Sakala is a clear statement of intent about how the club will be looking to build on what is already a position of strength. In truth, you could even look as far back as January when they tied up deals to sign Jack Simpson, Scott Wright and Nnamdi Ofoborh.

“Since arriving in October 2019, Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson has worked with Steven Gerrard to implement a very clear and defined recruitment structure. The club have reaped the ultimate reward by winning this year’s league title and they have no intention of resting on their laurels.

“In comparison, Celtic continue to stumble around in the dark. They are about to embark on the biggest overhaul of players in a generation, yet don’t even have a manager in place. The Eddie Howe saga shows no obvious sign of ending any time soon and it’s now getting to the stage where some fans have genuine concerns over whether the deal will happen at all. Celtic are dragging their heels and have no clear plan of action in place, while Rangers are charging ahead with signings for next season.”

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Celtic transfer overhaul remains the same regardless of Rangers’ work

It’s unfair to look at Rangers and start comparing them to us. They’ve had a scouting system that’s been in place for a couple of years now along with a manager who’s entering his fourth campaign as their manager. In short, they have continuity.

But even that’s getting away from the point. Rangers could sign 5 or 6 players and it wouldn’t change anything for us whatsoever. We still know what our plan this summer is. The rebuild doesn’t get any smaller or any larger if Rangers make a signing or two.

Constantly comparing what we’re doing compared to them is tiresome and counter-productive. We need to have our own goals and stop looking at whether we’re having a better window than our rivals. If we can manage to get most of the deadwood out, sell those into the final years of their contracts, and bring in a host of positive replacements – our rebuilding job will be complete.

New Celtic CEO Dominic McKay has a big rebuilding job on his hands / (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

That’s all we should be focusing on. Forget the fact that Rangers have signed a few players that hardly even look all that impressive ahead of next season. Let’s just focus on ourselves.

Granted, we’re hardly at an advanced stage of our rebuilding process. We still don’t have a new manager announced yet and the transfer window is still to open. It’s going to be hectic, and we can’t wait to see how the club tackles things over the next couple of months.

But regardless of what direction Celtic go in, Rangers’ transfer activity won’t affect things whatsoever. So let’s stop worrying about it.

In other news, we discuss why Celtic need to start providing fans with more updates on the Youth Academy.