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Did Brendan Rodgers really sanction these four signings?

Celtic fans are likely to be left wondering for some time over the transfer dealings of the 2023 summer window.

Group stage football in the 2023/24 Champions League football was confirmed in the first week of May, the gap at the top of the SPFL Premiership had never been less than nine points for six months.

Over the course of two seasons Ange Postecoglou had transformed the first team squad into a young, ambitious unit that had sampled the Champions League and were eager for another crack at the elite competition.

Reality suggests that the manager was already in the thoughts of Spurs when the title was clinched at Tynecastle, a week earlier at Hampden Brendan Rodgers had watched Jota score the only goal of a Scottish Cup semi-final to place one hand on the treble.

A stable, well run club, apparently the envy of many worldwide should be robust and prepared for a change of manager but the last six months have exposed the weaknesses of Celtic at every level except announcing profits and executive pay rises.

Within a fortnight of Postecoglou leaving Rodgers was back at the club but it is hard to believe that he is in charge despite his recent claims over recruitment.

Initially he was happy to be working with the brilliant Mark Lawwell in charge of recruitment, over the last month he has been bemoaning the lack of quality that he has to work with.

At last month’s AGM I asked about the summer recruitment, there is nothing on record to suggest that Lawwell Mini is remotely qualified or gifted enough to be anywhere near a top job in recruitment, the podium fudged it with Postecoglou blamed/credited for recruiting Mini while Rodgers claimed that he had the final say on recruitment.

In August his role was simply to coach the players that he was supplied with by the club.

Did he really want to sign four project central midfielders- none of whom have made any real inroads into the team in the way that Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate did on arrival, in the apparently more difficult January market?


Signed initially on loan in January he had shown up reasonably last season, used sparingly then filling in as an emergency central defender after Yuki Kobayashi has been shown up as well short of requirements. The loan from Yokohama F Marinos was converted to a permanent move in the summer, he has started two SPFL matches this season.


Was in the sights of the club and met up with Rodgers in Mallorca in June. There was promise from his Valerenga performances and also from the Norwegian u-21 side. He has started two SPL matches this season, lasting 53 minutes at home to Aberdeen and 45 at home to Motherwell.


Uncovered by Mark Lawwell playing in the Korean Second Division with Buson I Park he was handed a five year contract despite Holm and Iwata having already signed.

Rodgers clearly saw something in the video footage and data but since signing Kwon hasn’t played a minute of competitive football for Celtic. With no football played in six months it is hard to see how his career will progress.


Signed on loan from Benfica in the final week of the transfer window Celtic fans were pointed towards Jota to take comfort from a fourth midfielder joining up in the same transfer window.

A Portuguese u-21 international he clearly has pedigree but spent last season on loan in the Second Division, so far he has started two of Celtic’s 17 SPFL matches.

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It’s pretty simple in terms of how it works. Ultimately, I will develop and coach the players the club provide me. And then the process of the club providing me players is that we have a great network of scouts headed up my Mark (Lawwell) who has done a fantastic job working within the model of the club which allows the club to be sustainable and successful at the same time.

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