As Celtic fans throughout the world bemoan the lack of spending at the club, perhaps the club actually has it right. After a deep run in the Champions League, many felt the club would build on the squad that did so well. The problem was two of the main components wanted away. Not from the club as such but from the SPL. Wanyama and Hooper moved on to Southampton and Norwich respectively with the big lights of the EPL shinning, both players felt a move to the world’s top league was the only place to go to move their careers forward.
For Hooper it meant the opportunity to play in a league that would give him a better chance to get an England call up. For Wanyama it was the ability to play against top players every week, and in all fairness to him it will also be a stepping stone move to a bigger club. The Kenyan is a real talent and it was surprising that the battle for his services was only between Cardiff and Southampton. There is probably a Frenchman in London who should have looked a bit harder at what the ex-Celt could have done for him.
As the fans complain about the board’s lack of ambition due to the lack of spending being done, it is the big picture that they are missing. Celtic has a very easy competition for the league for the next two seasons with Rangers being out of the top flight. This means Champions League qualifiers at a minimum. To replace both players would cost too much for a club like Celtic. It would also pose a difficult task to get players of that quality to come to Scotland.
The club must focus on three areas of improvement to continue to put a decent product on the pitch for the fans and to at least attempt to get to the group stages of the Champions League.
1. Find raw talent that can be molded into a finished article. Wanyama cost Celtic less than 1M, and Hooper was a little over 2M. Celtic have already picked up Balde and have some movement on Pukki and Guidetti. None of these players are the finished articles but they have potential to be that.
Pick up free veteran players to add to the squad. With the club so light on forward options, bringing in a Carlton Cole wouldn’t be a bad idea. Celtic also has defensive problems so a one year deal for a player such as Gallas would add stability without spending money.
Perhaps the most important area is to bring through talent from the youth system. The club needs to really do everything it can to produce at least one player each season that can move into the first team squad.
As much as the fans hate not spending that 17M that came in from the two big sales, for the club to continue to grow it makes sense not to over spend. The key focus for the board is to ensure that they keep the club in good standing financially and spend wisely on players who can play well for the club but can also be developed into players for the bigger stage.
This is the area the fans need to think about, and it is not a good thought for fans but the reality is Scottish football is a dying, and the only way to bring it back around is to develop at home and if you need to buy players, do it cheap.
Celtic will win the league this season, even if they don’t sign anyone else. They might even win the treble at home, and sneak past the side from Kazakhstan and make it to the group stages of the Champions League. It will be a good year, just not as good as last. One year might be enough for Balde to come good or Rogic to become that player Celtic had expected him to become. It might give them time to scout the next Wanyama or find a player they can sign for 650K that will become the top goal scorer for years to come like they did with Larsson. At the end of the day the board to doing the right thing and those actions will allow for future nights in Europe that the fans will love.
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “firstname.lastname@example.org” to learn more.