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Nine Mark Lawwell signings that should be part of Celtic’s January clear out

At today’s Celtic AGM Brendan Rodgers again spoke of trimming the squad to make way for seasoned, experienced additions. If only he had got that message over during the summer business might have been a little easier.

Ange Postecoglou already had a bloated squad at the end of last season, there were players at the club well short of the standards required as well as the Lawwell Legacy of Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti and Ismaila Soro plus the handover of Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide.

With that deadwood almost all moved on, Shaw is on loan at Wigan Athletic, Lawwell’s son has stocked up on more bizarre signings that look at likely to make the grade as the former Sheffield Wednesday duo.

Trimming the squad looks a very difficult task, players on big contracts are difficult to shift as the examples of Barkas, Ajeti, Soro, Boli Bolingoli, Vakoun Bayo, Marian Shved and Patryk Klimala have proved in the past.

Having been lured to Celtic over the last 18 months players won’t be accepting transfers and pay cuts just because of a change in circumstances at their employer. The wishes of the manager will be very difficult to execute.

Ben Siegrist

No league appearances in 18 months, left out of the Champions League squad, third choice behind Joe Hart and Scott Bain. Contract till May 2026.

Alexandro Bernabei:

Celtic’s first ever signing from Argentina, making a slightly better impact than the first Brazilian, Rafael Scheidt but that is a very low benchmark. Contract till May 2027.

Sead Haksabanovic:

A costly £3.5m signing from Rubin Kazan. Initially eye catching but virtually no end product, now on loan at Stoke City where he is already blowing more cold than hot. Contract till June 2027.

Yuji Kobayashi:

Signed in January as a free agent which should have been a warning sign, completely unsuited to Scottish football. Left out of the Champions League squad and hasn’t played a minute this season. Contract till May 2028.

Tomoki Iwata:

Another midfielder following in the path of Oliver Abildgaard who was ditched in mid-season. Finished last season in central defence, yet to start any matches this season. Contract unknown.

Marco Tilio:

Signed for £1.5m at the same time as Aaron Mooy retired, there the comparisons end. Still to play a minute of football this season, excluded from Champions League squad and linked with a January loan move. Contract till May 2028.

Kwon Hyeok-Kyu:

Plucked from the Korean Second Division as Lawwell Jr dived in really deep. At £600,000 you get what you pay for. Still to make a first team appearance, five months training at Lennoxtown is unlikely to have made him a better player. Contract till May 2028.

Gus Lagerbielke:

Incredibly he was recommended to Celtic by Carl Starfelt’s agent who picked up a second commission when the £2m deal from Elfsborg was completed. He had his claim to fame at Ibrox but is now around fifth choice central defender. Contract till May 2028.

Paulo Benardo:

Signed on loan from Benfica with obvious nudges towards Jota, so far he has started two SPFL matches and seems in a battle with David Turnbull and Odin Thiago Holm to deputise for Reo Hatate. With the shift towards experience it looks highly unlikely that a Jota sized fee can be justified.

Adam Montgomery, Bosun Lawal, Yosuke Ideguchi, Jonny Kenny and Shaw are out on loan, there is nothing to suggest that they are about to return and pull up trees in the Celtic first team.

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