Former Celtic star Mark Wilson believes that the Hoops didn’t sign their first-choice targets in the summer transfer window.
Wilson appeared on the latest episode of Clyde Superscoreboard and he talked about numerous issues involving Celtic transfers.
He believes that when Celtic signed players in the summer, they couldn’t rope in their first-choice targets and the players that they signed couldn’t even play in pre-season, which shows that they weren’t the initially identified targets.
Did Celtic fail to sign their first-choice summer targets?
The Hoops signed Albian Ajeti last summer and Vasilis Barkas arrived from AEK Athens. Shane Duffy and Diego Laxalt joined only on loan deals (as per Transfermarkt).
Wilson believes that Celtic had the staff to sign players before pre-season started and the fact that Ajeti and Barkas were signed later shows that they weren’t first-choice targets.
He claimed: “You look at Barkas when Barkas signed, 30th of July, missed pre-season. Ajeti was even later than that. You can’t say that if they were the first choices, it’d take that long to get that done.
“A club the size of Celtic, the staff they’ve got, to go over the summer and negotiate fees for these guys or negotiate contracts to get them in day one of pre-season. So it makes you think that probably first-choices weren’t available or they weren’t able to get it done. That’s why you’re left with the signings you got.”
TIF Thoughts on Celtic’s summer signings…
While Ajeti did sign for the Hoops, the Swiss forward had actually stalled the move initially, as he had begun to consider his options and he took some time to make a decision. While that might have taken some time, Celtic even had a bid rejected for Ivan Toney, who later joined Brentford from Peterborough United.
And while Barkas arrived, Celtic had been snubbed by Fraser Forster, who had chosen to stay at Southampton and fight for a place there.
So keeping the chases of Toney and Forster in mind, the Hoops indeed ended up signing what look to have been their second-choice targets after the failure to secure their main ones. Considering how Barkas and Ajeti have failed to become regulars, it is easy to see why Celtic might regret missing out on Toney and Forster, especially given the season they have had.