Celtic have quite rightly been criticised this season for many things, but having a pop at not selling our big players in 2020 feels unfair.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as is proven so often. And it’s once again a common theme here as we use our recruitment decisions to have a pop at the club.
Yes, there is always scope to highlight poor signings. Why Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas haven’t worked out is something that lies solely on the shoulders of Neil Lennon and his former Head of Recruitment Nick Hammond.
You can also take a dig at the fact we continue to buy so many loan players. As many as four have been recruited this season alone, and that’s become one frustrating transfer policy that the club has become reliant on.
But where people need to stop having a pop at Celtic for is the fact we didn’t sell our top stars last season. Indeed, the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Kris Ajer, and Ryan Christie were kept on for a shot at the 10.
In recent weeks after the collapse of our 10IAR charge, speculation has come out regarding plenty of our players. All three mentioned above have been linked with moves away on cut-price deals. This has led to many taking a pop at the club for failing to get top dollar for them last summer:
It’s really Celtic’s fault and another case of failing to sell players when they are at their most valuable, we know he wants to test his skills in England, should have been sold last summer and replaced. #CelticFC https://t.co/oPNFa6ZvdQ
— Celtic Now And Forever ☘️ (@celtic_now) April 27, 2021
…should have begun last summer instead of watch this entire squad fade away. We squeezed this team too far it seems and now the vast majority will leave having been part of the downfall. I can only hope that our new man will be given the support to be a success at this Celtic
— Celts from the South (@Celts_f_t_South) April 21, 2021
Kenny is one of the worst players to ever play for Celtic. Should’ve sold Edouard last summer when he wanted to go. Turnbull should’ve hit the free kick and Griffiths should’ve hit the pen.
— Kalvin Hendry (@_kalvin) April 18, 2021
Celtic transfer window went as well as we could’ve expected to begin with
There have been plenty of digs at the club for failing to sell their top talents. After all, you could easily have bagged around £30m for Edouard, £20m for Ajer, and potentially £10m for Christie. What a total we could’ve had.
But let’s not forget how buzzing everyone was with the transfer window last summer. Not one Celtic fan was left despondent or believed we had missed a trick by keeping our best stars. As a matter of fact, we were all praising the club and admitting that the manager had been firmly backed.
We knew it was a risk not selling our best players. But could you imagine the outcry if all of those players departed? Celtic would’ve been accused of cashing in instead of putting all of their focus on 10-in-a-row.
Lennon had a glorious chance with plenty of tools at his disposal this season. The 10 should’ve been won with the talent we had, but it was simply poorly managed. To have a pop at the club for failing to cash in is too unfair to entertain.
What’s happening now is that Celtic are paying for Lennon’s failure. The former manager failed to make the risk pay off, and now we’re suffering the consequences of having to sell low.
That’s the nature of football. Celtic did all they could last summer to ensure we had as strong a squad as possible. Just look at the reaction to Celtic’s tweet when the summer window closed.
Many of us demanded the club held on to our top stars. 10IAR was always more important than any transfer fee we could’ve received, and that’s because the achievement would’ve been priceless.
Unfortunately, it’s backfired, and Celtic deserve a lot of stick for it doing so. But in terms of the actual decision to keep these players on for an extra year? We need to have some perspective.