The Athletic’s Celtic correspondent Kieran Devlin has recently been talking about Neil Lennon and has revealed that the Hoops boss wants a ‘relatively streamlined’ squad for the 2020/21 season.
Devlin was recently hosting a Q&A session about the Bhoys on The Athletic website. Fans asked him many questions about the club, their transfer strategy and how next season could pan out to be for them.
One fan asked a question about some of Celtic’s potential outgoings. The fan specifically mentioned Jonathan Afolabi, Vakoun Bayo, Maryan Shved and Anthony Ralston. He said that with the reserve league ‘not starting till January’, he expects someone like Afolabi to be loaned out. The fan feels that it should be the ‘end of the road’ for Bayo, Ralston and Shved.
Devlin answered this question, saying that he sees a ‘number of loan deals’ for youngsters like Afolabi and Lee O’Connor ‘over the next weeks and months’. The journalist revealed that he’s been told that Lennon is looking to have a ‘relatively streamlined’ but ‘reliable’ squad for the upcoming campaign.
Can Celtic win the title with a streamlined squad next season?
Yes, we will
No, I doubt it
Here’s what he had to say in full: “I can definitely see a number of loan deals for that crop of youngsters like Afolabi and O’Connor over the next weeks and months. Been told Lennon wants a relatively streamlined but entirely reliable squad for this season.”
Afolabi is yet to make a single first-team appearance for the Bhoys and was loaned out to Dunfermline in January of 2020. Bayo played only 364 minutes of first-team football last season and made just eight Premiership appearances for the Bhoys.
Shved played only three games in all competitions last season, while Ralston was loaned out to St. Johnstone last summer and has played only 19 times in all competitions for Celtic since the 2015/16 season.
This suggests that these players aren’t quite needed for the Celtic first team and to continue their development, it may be a wise decision for the club to move them out on loan.