Celtic and the January 2019 transfer window

The January window is a time characterised by distressed purchases.

Of course, selling clubs know that.

Consequently, like the road to Galway, I wouldn’t start from here.

Celtic badly messed up their recruitment last summer.

Brendan didn’t get three out of his four main targets.

So when 2019 started there was some ground to make up.

The player that was landed in the summer out of the quartet Rodgers had identified was Odsonne Édouard- a striker.

As the summer window was closing Celtic had three first-team starters for one slot.

When Moussa Dembélé was lured away to Lyon as the clock ticked down that left Rodgers with two players for the Number Nine berth.

Of course, he not have foreseen that the situation with Leigh Griffiths would take the ex-Hibs striker off the roster.

Consequently, the forward areas that have been most targeted in the January window.

Rodgers now has excellent attacking options for his preferred formation.

It is well documented that Celtic failed to land two defenders and a midfielder during the summer.

The absence of Cristiano Piccini and Fabian Schär, the two additions to the back four that Rodgers had identified really did hit home during the Champions League qualifiers.

With Boyata playing a leading role in the unfolding Athenian tragedy it proved to be a costly failure.

However, with the emergence of Ryan Christie, the absence of John McGinn in the Hoops has been rather ameliorated.

The ex-ICT kid has established himself as a dominant Number Eight as opposed to an understudy for the peerless Tom Rogic in the Number Ten slot.

It is undeniable that the weakest part of the Celtic squad is in defence.

Consequently, the 11th hour acquisition of right back Jeremy Tolijan on loan from Borussia Dortmund addresses one problem area in the back four.

With Filip Benković out for 4-5 weeks, it remains to be seen if Celtic’s back line is up to the task.

Three of the signings during the January window can definitely be filed under “succession planning”.

The two American fullbacks are definitely “projects”.

My information is that of the stateside pair the guy most likely to make the cut is Andrew Gutman.

However, it is Rodgers’ comments about the acquisition of the Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved that I find the most perplexing.

In the presser, the Irishman sounded somewhat detached from the recruitment process.

That narrative has a bad history at Celtic.

It was reminiscent of the summer when Rodgers let it go in public about the failure to land John McGinn.

When discussing the signing of the Ukranian kid Ridgers spoke of the decision by “the club” to target Shved.

Does that mean Brendan Rodgers does not see himself at the club after the summer?

When the sports desks in Scotland posed that question recently they aren’t making mischief, they were actually doing their job.

I think it is fair to say that Celtic emerge now from this window stronger than when they went into it.

That cannot be said about what transpired last summer as the Double Treble was being celebrated.

During the Christmas party season, people at the top of the tree in Parkhead were briefing corporate types that the plan for the upcoming window was “Boyata out and three in”.

My information is that Brendan opposed to first part of that plan and didn’t want to lose his Belgian defender despite the pram kicking episode in Athens.

Now that the window has closed it is undeniable that Rodgers has the best squad in Scotland at his disposal.

That is as it should be if the recruitment process is working properly at the richest club in the country.

It is almost as if having more money than your opponents is some sort of sporting advantage,

Strange that…

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