Celtic legend Chris Sutton has expressed his doubts over the abilities of the club’s head of football operations, Nick Hammond.
Sutton was speaking about many issues involving the Bhoys on the latest episode of the Record Celtic podcast and one topic of discussion was the club’s recruitment in the transfer window.
He spoke about how the club could look to replace the players that may leave in the summer and in the process, questioned whether Hammond is good enough to bring in potential replacements for the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Kristoffer Ajer.
Edouard has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent months, while Milan are interested in taking Ajer to the San Siro. Burnley and Nice have been linked with a move for Christie. Jeremie Frimpong has joined Bayer Leverkusen, while Olivier Ntcham has been loaned out to Marseille, who have the option to buy him permanently.
Should Celtic get rid of Nick Hammond?
Sutton feels that replacing the departing players could well be a ‘massive issue’ for the Hoops but Hammond’s recruitment can’t be fully trusted because of his deal for Albian Ajeti.
The Celtic legend said: “It’s a really difficult situation, because when you talk about the level we know these players can play at and the fact that how do Celtic replace these players? How much is it going to cost? Is there trust in the scouting department, who you have to say based on [Vasilis] Barkas signing, on the Ajeti signing – how can there be trust in Nicky Hammond, who’s head of recruitment?
“So you sell Edouard, you sell Christie, you sell Ajer and I don’t know, you get £30-40 million for the three of them. Who are you going to get in at the level to replace them? And it’s a massive, massive issue. Who are you going to get in at the level which is going to see you get into the Champions League group stages?”
TIF Thoughts on Nick Hammond…
In the summer transfer window, Celtic signed Ajeti, Shane Duffy, Vasilis Barkas, Diego Laxalt and David Turnbull. Ajeti has failed to become a regular and Duffy has come under a lot of criticism. Barkas has played just 13 Premiership games, while Laxalt has stopped being a regular in recent weeks.
This shows that the business done in the summer wasn’t great at all and it might indicate that Hammond cannot be relied on for replacing the players that potentially depart in the summer. Therefore, it is easy to see why Sutton has doubts about him.