Five players who could leave Celtic before transfer window shuts

By Euan Davidson

August 18, 2021

It might seem crazy to suggest there are players who ought to leave Celtic before the end of the transfer window.

After all, the Bhoys are hardly blessed for numbers. Our threadbare European defences and positional shifts are testament to that. It’s been very much a summer of additions, with only a sprinkling of big names exiting the club.

Olivier Ntcham and Kristoffer Ajer have left, after year-long sagas. Meanwhile, Jack Hendry, Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Marian Shved have all departed after year-long loan deals.

Actually, the outgoing business Celtic have done has been impressive. In truth, though, there’s probably more to do. Especially when Ange Postecoglou is keen to add more faces to his growing compliment of players.

So, who would be next to leave the club? Here are five players we’ve identified to jet off either permanently, or on loan.

Scott Bain probably needs to use this transfer window wisely

It brings me precisely zero joy to talk of a Scott Bain exit. As a person, he comes across extremely well. He’s always been a willing number 2 when Celtic have had issues in goal.

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Not only that, but he works his damnedest to adapt to a manager’s demands. Honestly, I really do wish things had worked out better for Scott Bain at Celtic.

It’s just that he’s struggled. He doesn’t have the command of his area that a goalkeeper probably needs. Not only that, he’s proved untrustworthy in big games. It’s not that he has a howler in him, it’s just that in matches against Rangers, in the Europa League etc, he’s been too easy to beat.

Conor Hazard probably needs a loan move, too. But Barkas, as the more expensive goalkeeper, is probably harder to find an amicable way out for. Sorry, Scott.

Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Boli Bolingoli: time up at Paradise?

As someone who loves a redemption arc, I was hoping for a Boli Bolingoli resurgence in 21-22.

There’s still a chance, but it seems feint. Barely used in pre-season, Bolingoli hasn’t had a sniff of competitive action for Celtic yet this season. When Greg Taylor has been brought off, it’s Adam Montgomery who’s played left-back in his stead.

Surely, if there was a plan for Bolingoli, we’d know what it is by now. Simply put, we don’t. It seems unlikely that another loan move would be what the Belgian defender wants, and he’s still of some value. It might be best to let the former fan favourite go.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ewan Henderson has a future at Celtic, but this transfer window may prove crucial

We’re fans of Ewan Henderson at 67 Hail Hail, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that the time Henderson has had in recent seasons is immensely frustrating.

A promising attacking midfielder under Brendan Rodgers, Liam’s wee brother needs game time. Another loan might be on the cards this transfer window, but you could understand if Henderson was getting fed up with living out of a suitcase.

In a perfect world, Henderson would be ready for at least a spot on the bench. His spell with Dunfermline seemed promising, but he needs to be at a better level (with no offence to the Pars).

A stint in Serie B, like his brother, or in another competitive European league, could add another dimension to his game. The talent’s there, he just needs a prolonged run of matches to unlock it.

Albian Ajeti: the enigma of Celtic Park

Albian Ajeti was absolutely flying in pre-season. Unfortunately, a wee knock seemed to put the buffers on any nascent development for the Swiss striker.

Handed the armband in pre-season, Ajeti looked fit, hungry and sharp. Yet, in cameo appearances so far, he’s seemed anything but. It’s probably unfair. to even try to assess him, in truth, because he’s just not had a full 90 minutes to show what he can do.

But if Edouard stays, and Kyogo remains on fire, with a striker like Giakoumakis potentially coming in, where does Ajeti fit? The answer is that he probably doesn’t.

Celtic could recoup a fee for the ex-West Ham United man, but it might be better to see what he can do out on loan. Either way, he won’t be happy with how things have turned out in Glasgow. There’s a player, there. We just need to see that consistently.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Leigh Griffiths: it’s time to cut our losses

That’s two pre-seasons in a row in which Leigh Griffiths hasn’t been able to contribute meaningfully. He hasn’t hit double figures for goals since the 16-17 season [Transfermarkt]. We signed him on a new deal, and were immediately disappointed. This might be his last transfer window at Celtic.

Truly, is it worth the hassle any more? The striker keeps threatening to come back to some semblance of form, but it just never seems to happen for him.

Surely, there’s a growing number of supporters who’d rather see someone like Owen Moffat, Adam Brooks or Rocco Vata in Griffiths’ spot in Celtic’s striker pecking order.

It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle any more. For all parties, it’s probably best if he finds another club at this point.

Read more: Eredivisie expert’s take on Celtic target