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Brendan Rodgers makes big admission over summer transfer failing

Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he has too many players in his first team squad.

At the end of last season it seemed that Ange Postecoglou’s squad was too large with deadwood like Albian Ajeti, Vasilis Barkas and Ismaila Soro legacy issues from the darkest days of recruitment under Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon.

Other, less costly mistakes such as Osaze Urhoghide and Liam Shaw returned from loan spells in the knowledge that they were further down the queue than when they had been signed then shipped out.

Those five were moved on during the summer, Jota and Carl Starfelt were sold from the likely Starting XI with an incredible seven permanent signings brought in topped up by Nat Phillips and Paulo Bernardo arriving on loan in the final week of the Transfer Window.

After an early burst of injuries the full extent of the Celtic squad is starting to emerge with 33 players appearing in the recently taken first team picture with only Daniel Kelly from the B squad included.

Since the January 2022 transfer window that brought in Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda it seems that Celtic have been stockpiling projects that are never likely to see the light of day.

Asked about Yuki Bobayashi at today’s media conference Rodgers was blunt:

I’ve only got 11 players. The squad is too big, that’s the reality of it. I can’t fit in all the players even into a matchday squad.

He’s certainly someone that’s really professional. In fairness to Yuki, he would have gone out on loan and he just got injured just before he went out. He’s training very well, it’s not that he’s doing anything wrong. His attitude has been fantastic, working hard but we only have a limited number of centre-halves that we can play.

Signed this year but having not started a single game this season it is hard to see how Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata, Marco Tilio and Kwon Hyeok-Kyu are ever going to make progress. The form that earned them their moves to Celtic is now being blunted by the complete absence of playing time. Summer 2022 signings Alexandro Bernabei and Ben Siegrist are in the same situation.

Fans often discuss and demand recruitment at their club, over the coming windows Mark Lawwell has to double up on removing players, a first team squad of 25 seems more than adequate, currently Celtic have around 40 players in their first team pool.

James McCarthy seems to be something of a mystery, almost as forgotten as Yosuke Ideguchi and Sead Haksabanovic, Adam Montgomery, Bosun Lawal, Liam Shaw and Jonny Kenny who are all out on loan.

Trimming the squad size by at least six players in each of the next three transfer windows seems essential to get numbers down to a manageable level, with no need for any more projects for some time to come.

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