Why Celtic are now only 2 signings away from a potential title-winning squad
It’s quite incredible how Ange Postecoglou has managed to rebuild this Celtic squad in his own image in such a short space of time.
At the end of last season, many of us would’ve simply settled for just being a lot more competitive this season. To actually be able to lay a glove on Rangers, but with leniency if we didn’t manage to overthrow them.
Now, however, Postecoglou has managed to totally turn that thought process around. Now, Celtic supporters are eyeing up the league title this season. This is due to the fact 11 first-team signings came through the Parkhead door in the summer. Another 3 have already arrived in January in the form of a Japanese trio.
The massive personnel changes have led to an incredible change in heart from the Celtic fanbase. After bagging 14 wins from our opening 20 Premiership games, many believe Ange has gotten off to a solid start. The League Cup win also gave him a much-needed trophy boost.
However, it’s clear that Celtic are still light in 2 positions in particular. At least in terms of quality. And as much as progress has been made this season, the league table still doesn’t lie. 6 points behind Rangers is competitive, but it isn’t enjoyable. There are still deficiencies in the squad which is of course to be expected given it’s a new team.
Even so, 2 positions stand out in which we have a worrying lack of quality. That being the left-back and goalkeeping positions.
A left-back and back-up goalkeeper would leave Celtic in the ideal position
The truth is we don’t have the quality at left-back in particular to tackle our goals this season. Josip Juranovic keeps needing to play in his more unnatural left-back area due to our lack of quality in depth. Liam Scales and Greg Taylor are decent squad options, but they still lack that extra level to be our number one.
As for the goalkeeping position, don’t be fooled. Just because we have a host of options doesn’t mean we’re strong. Similar to the left-back position in that sense. Celtic dropped 5 points this season when Joe Hart wasn’t even playing. The first being a 2-1 loss at Hearts before he was even signed, and the second being the 0-0 draw at Livingston where we didn’t have his urgency in getting the ball out quickly enough.
Scott Bain isn’t of the standard required when Hart is missing. Vasilis Barkas and Conor Hazard, meanwhile, clearly won’t do either. We have 4 options, but only 1 can be relied upon to put in acceptable performances. Until we manage to get an efficient, no-nonsense backup in the door, this will always be a vulnerability.
There has been talk of Celtic needing another centre-back. It could still be the case that Ange surprises us with another in the door this month. But look at the options we have there. Christopher Jullien is set to return from injury and join Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stephen Welsh, and Nir Bitton respectively. There’s more than enough quality there to mount a proper title challenge.
Meanwhile, Celtic look like singing Australian international Riley McGree. Even if he arrives, however, the midfielder won’t be the answer to 2 of the biggest problems we currently have in the squad.
Only after we cover those positions can we look at our options everywhere and be satisfied.