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Give Me Five- Sutton makes big demand to Mark Lawwell

Chris Sutton has warned Mark Lawwell that Celtic are five first team starters away from where they should be.

Over the last 10 days the issue of Recruitment has been redirected from Brendan Rodgers to the Head of First Team Scouting and Recruitment.

For two full seasons Celtic had a fantastic reputation in recruitment, every window players were brought in that made an impact in the Starting XI rather just bloating the wage bill.

A classical example came in January when Alistair Johnston and Oh Hyeon-gyu were signed before Josip Juaranovic and Giorgos Giakoumoumakis were sold.

After years of fumbling around hoping for the best Celtic fans really took to the new proactive way of doing business- on the front foot. As a bonus a healthy profit was recorded on those January deals.

In contrast the summer window has been underwhelming. No new starters were in Portugal or Japan for the guts of pre-season training, Odin Thiago Holm did show up well in cameos.

Three other project signings have been added with Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke signed up while Jota, Aaron Mooy and Carl Starfelt left the club.

Sutton expected to watch Celtic kick on over the summer months, in the Daily Record he shared his shock at the position his old club is in with six days left in the window:

When you think back to the final whistle at Hampden a few months ago when the Treble was wrapped up, Celtic looked in prime position to kick on and hammer home their dominance. It looked ominous for Michael Beale at Rangers and his rebuild.

But now? Celtic are not just weaker – they are miles weaker. Rodgers might need to sign five players this week, and all of them will have to be first team ready. That’s an extraordinary situation to be in at this stage, when the season is already up and running. I get the injury problems are seriously damaging the team. Losing Cameron Carter-Vickers and Reo Hatate would hamper any side.

But that doesn’t hide the overall problem right now. Celtic just have not kicked on. Losing Jota was a blow, but he left in the first week in July. It’s now nearly September. You can’t do much about Aaron Mooy retiring but he announced his decision a long time ago. Rodgers brought in Maik Nawrocki and then Gustaf Lagerbielke, but those two are both prospects.

Carl Starfelt was an experienced campaigner. I still can’t get my head around the decision to sell Starfelt before the end of the window. Carter-Vickers was coming back after a long injury and could have been eased in.

If everything was rosy on August 31 they could have then let him go. I’m not having the girlfriend excuse. He is a professional footballer who was under contract. He should only go on the club’s terms. The Nawrocki signing probably changed the thinking and I know Celtic’s model.

But you can’t be talking about improvement in the Champions League and then replacing internationals with rookies. The likes of Yang and Odin Holm could become top players down the line but they are not there yet. Lagerbielke could go on to be a star but he’s only played a couple of dozen games in the Swedish top flight. And now he’s the guy who will be anchoring the defence at Ibrox next week.

Ibrox next Sunday will be a tough test, September also brings the Champions League and a trip to Livingston, October is much the same with Hearts and Hibs to be faced away from home with the Champions League ongoing.

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