Full Celtic squad depth by position after transfer window shuts

By Euan Davidson

September 1, 2021

Well then, Celtic have themselves a squad with arguable depth for 21-22, after the closure of the summer transfer window.

Before the pre-season even kicked off, a whole range of scenarios were in the offing. What if we’d landed Eddie Howe, and plucked some of the best under-the-radar talents from England? Or, we could’ve gone with Enzo Maresca, and focused on Italian, English and Spanish markets.

Then, there’s the possibility we could’ve had an entirely free agent first-team. Fine, it’s unlikely. But if someone predicted we’d have brought in Ange Postecoglou as manager, and the J-League’s top scorer up front, their phone would be off the hook for psychic readings.

Let’s take a look at Celtic’s squad depth now all the transfer business is over until January. At which point, you just know things are going to heat up all over again.

Below is a squad depth chart. With Cameron Carter-Vickers being brought in last minute [Daily Record], at least the centre of defence is in a healthier state.

Let’s break it down by department, and assess our squad depth for the 21-22 season.

Celtic land Giakoumakis and Jota as Edouard leaves | LIVE Deadline Day Special

Celtic land Giakoumakis and Jota as Edouard leaves | LIVE Deadline Day Special

Celtic squad depth rating: Goalkeepers and defence

It’d be hard to argue that Celtic haven’t strengthened in areas that sorely needed it.

Joe Hart has come in and immediately taken the number 1 spot. 34, and with plenty of top-level experience, the back-ups Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas can surely learn from him, and improve their game.

That’s the hope, at least.

We needed a top-quality right-back, and landed one for a bargain fee. Josip Juranovic comes Artur Boruc-approved, and starred at Euro 2020. With the improvement of Anthony Ralston, we have two very solid options. Another box ticked.

Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images

Central defence is where it gets tricker. We now have (when fit) four fully-fledged first-team options. Cameron Carter-Vickers looks a smart pick-up, while Carl Starfelt is slowly improving, adjusting to a brand new footballing culture.

Christopher Jullien should be in the starting XI when he’s fully ready, while Dane Murray has shown he’s likely capable of handling domestic football. Osaze Urhoghide has made match-day squads, but is yet to make his mark. That’ll take time, though. Nir Bitton as an option is better than nothing, although he really is more of a defensive midfielder.

On the left, it’s hard to say. Greg Taylor remains a solid choice, and likely the first option going forward. Adam Montgomery has impressed since making his breakthrough under John Kennedy, while Bolingoli has surprisingly stayed at the club.

Could it be better? Probably, yes. But is it enough? It looks like it. Time will surely tell.

(Credit – Celtic FC)

Celtic squad depth: the midfield is an area for improvement

I can’t be alone in thinking the addition of someone like Ali McCann would’ve made a huge improvement to what we have in the middle of the park.

As it is, we have Captain Callum McGregor, Nir Bitton (arguably), Liam Shaw, Ismaila Soro and James McCarthy as our more defence-orientated central midfielders.

On paper, that’s not actually too bad. We’re yet to see the Ismaila Soro of last season, while McCarthy hasn’t had a proper debut as of yet. Liam Shaw showed flashes of quality in pre-season, and could be a solid box-to-box marauder with the right development.

The loss of Ryan Christie leaves David Turnbull and Tom Rogic as our options at number 10. That could be a long-term concern, especially with both players’ injury histories. There are youth players like Luca Connell and Ewan Henderson who could potentially make the step up, however.

Given the departures of Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham and Ryan Christie, things could be far worse than they are now.

Celtic squad: the attack and wings

It already seems to have gone a little under the radar, but one of the most important positions was filled late on.

Filipe Jota comes with the approval of top players, and has shone at youth international level. As a left-wing option, we’ve potentially done really well there.

On the right, Liel Abada has been a sensation. At just 19, his potential is scary, and it seems as if we signed him with little competition. An absolute steal. With James Forrest approaching regular game-time again, and Karamoko Dembele to return from a pre-season injury, we’re suddenly well-stocked.

Up front, losing Edouard really is a significant blow. Thank God, then, for Kyogo Furuhashi. If he’s needed on the left, or being rotated, the addition of Giorgos Giakouamkis really could go either way. One season wonder, or prolific late bloomer? Again, time will tell, but on paper, he’s a good signing.

In terms of depth, we’re arguably better-stocked. Players that needed moves have gone, and there’s real hunger there. Promising B Team talents like Owen Moffat, Adam Brooks and Rocco Vata are coming along nicely, and there could be opportunities in cup competitions.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Do Celtic have a strong enough squad, as-is?

Before the signing of Cameron Carter-Vickers, I might’ve said no, not so much. However, looking at the options, and considering the ebb and flow of injuries, form and other factors on a season, I think there’s room for optimism.

After just his first window, Postecoglou can be pretty happy with the work done so far. January and next Summer could prove even bigger tests.

However, with the salvage job that was tipped before the summer began, we’re in relatively good shape going forward.

Virtually a whole starting line-up has departed, and another has arrived. With a bold manager in place, let’s hope it’s enough.

Read more: Dom McKay addresses Celtic support after transfer window slams shut