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Hopefully- Alarm Bells Ring As Brendan Rodgers Answers Recruitment Issue

Brendan Rodgers was only able to offer ‘Hopefully’ when he was asked about further transfer activity before the window closes on August 31.

It seems that over the course of two months the Irishman has been transported five years to the hellish summer of 2018 which was the beginning of the end of his first stint at Celtic.

John McGinn is the name most closely associated with that time, having failed to deliver that target Peter Lawwell came up with Youssuf Mulumbu as an alternative. There is a reason why one was a free agent at the end of his Kilmarnock deal and the other a £2.5m signing for Aston Villa.

For reasons unknown a £10m offer from Fulham wasn’t accepted with the defender leaving for free a year later as any pretence to a well planned transfer strategy was exposed as being paper thin.

As well as Mulumbu Rodgers’ squad was ‘strengthened’ by the arrivals of Filip Benkavic and Emilio Izaguirre while the funds from selling Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Dembele were banked.

It was the definition of downsizing.

This time it is Mark Lawwell that will determine Rodgers’ fate. Following Friday’s revelation that he works with the players supplied by the club he gave another insight into recruitment issues after the defeat at Kilmarnock.

The Celtic Way reported:

You mentioned pre-match as well about incomings and outgoings. There are a couple of weeks left of the transfer window. Do you expect there still to be a fair bit of activity either way at the club?

Hopefully. I think you can see we need that quality; we’ve had quality go out of the building so we definitely need that quality in. The club will work very, very hard to get the players in that can improve us and make us better, and that’s something we’ll do over the period of time between now and the close of the window.

With 10 days left in the window the focus has switched to Mark Lawwell to see if he can deliver better quality players than his Dad did five years ago.

So far six players have been signed, four in the project/development category plus Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagernielke to replace Carl Starfelt.

Seven weeks after banking around £18m from the transfer of Jota there is no sign of a left winger being signed.

Under Ange Postecoglou, in January replacements for Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis were not only signed but playing in significant matches before the outgoing transfer business was completed.

According to those on-message with the club there is a database of prospective signings for every position, for every eventuality.

Jota’s transfer did come out of left field but after the deal was done there was time to get his replacement in to join the squad in Portugal or Japan.

Unless Marco Tilio or Yang Hyun-jun were intended to take over from Jota that issue has been neglected.

Lawwell Junior has 10 days to redeem himself, to prove that he is his own man. Football is a results driven business, by the start of September Celtic fans will know if the Head of Scouting and Recruitment is in place to boost the team sheet or the Blance Sheet.

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1 Comment

  • by Captain Swing
    Posted August 21, 2023 7:43 am 0Likes

    Is it really in any doubt now? It’s quite clear they have no intention of signing a majority of first-team ready players. Arguably the worst thing that could happen now is to make some slapdash signing to keep the fans happy…. the same sort of thing that saw Sevco sign the step-over king himself, Ryan Kent, for a grossly inflated fee because they were panicked. For me, Ryan Fraser probably falls into that category.

    I said yesterday that it would not be the first time a manager has walked out after a very short time in charge of a club saying promises about signings and budgets were broken. If you were looking to serve very cold revenge on Lawwell, that would tick every box. He could walk and leave us with Broony or Lennon in charge of that squad.

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