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Worrying signs as report claims Lawwell is keen on teenage South African striker

It seems that Mark Lawwell hasn’t been paying attention to the transfer promptings of Brendan Rodgers.

After being presented with seven signings in the summer the hoops boss has only really got a tune out of Luis Palma with virtually no benefit from the others.

Yang Hynu-Jun has shown a little promise but wouldn’t have been challenging for a place in last season’s team while Marco Tilio and Kwon Hyeok-Kyu look like going out on loan in January with virtually no prospect of playing at Celtic.

Injuries to Liel Abada, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda have exposed the lack of quality in the Celtic squad with the Champions League yielding just one point from four matches.

A return to the standards set in the summer of 2021 when Josip Juranovic, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi were signed is badly needed, as back up Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers were brought in on loan.

Since Lawwell took charge of recruitment only Alistair Johnston has arrived to go straight into the Starting XI with the January transfer window critical to improve on the quality available to Rodgers.

Media reports are to be taken with a pinch of salt but after being linked with a Japanese player in Bundesliga II last week The Sun is going strong today on a 17-year-old South African striker catching the attention of Celtic’s scouting team.

Baartman has scored one goal in three appearances for Cape Town Spurs this season, he turned 17 in June.

On October 30 The Herald reported Rodgers saying:

Hopefully over the coming windows we can look to improve the quality of the squad.

Listen, we have enough – what I would say – development players. I think it is clear. And I love that, it is what I have done all my life is work with those players. But you certainly need ones that can come in [and make an immediate impact].

We already have a number of those development players, so it is genuine quality we hope we can bring in across the coming windows.

Your squads are 25, which is 22 plus three goalkeepers. It is not ideal. I think there were younger players that were going to come in and see how they develop.

The groundwork for January transfer deals should be well underway with Rodgers expecting more players to leave than join.

With Kwon, Tilio, Yuki Kobayashi and Alexandro Bernabei all excluded from the Champions League squad there is no room for project signings with every message from the manager stressing the need to bring in experienced players rather than continue the trend of punts from Australia, the South Korean Second Division and other similar markets.

CLICK HERE for Transfermarkt profile of Luke Baartman.

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