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‘But I’m sceptical’ Sutton questions whether Rodgers’ transfer demands will be met

Chris Sutton is waiting with interest to see the nature of Celtic’s January transfer business.

Like most fans the former hoops striker was left bemused and underwhelmed by the summer transfer activity when some statement signings were expected to accompany the return of Brendan Rodgers as manager.

Project after prospect arrived, there was no-one that could be termed Champions League quality with the hoops bundled out of that competition when they lost 2-0 away to Lazio on Matchday 5.

After that defeat Rodgers mentioned that he had wanted to bring in four quality signings when he returned to the club but it seems that the strategy/ club policy prevailed with only Luis Palma featuring to any extent.

Highlighting their inexperience both Gus Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm were sent off away to Feyenoord in the opening Champions League tie.

In previous years Ange Postecoglou has had signings in the door on January 1 but almost a week into the January 2024 window it seems that no deals are imminent.

Assessing the expectations of the manager against reality in the Daily Record,  Sutton observes:

Everybody will be watching and scrutinising what happens at Celtic because Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the need for more quality on countless occasions.

But when he first came in he spoke about having to stick to the model and his understanding of that. Now he wants to bring in a better quality of player.

Does that mean a ready-made, tried and tested player who would cost a great deal more money? I’m not disputing what he says. But I’m sceptical about who Celtic can sign in any position that is an upgrade and who’s not going to cost a lot of money.

They have to try and it’s always good to freshen the team up. What should Celtic be looking to bring in?

Left back has been an issue albeit Greg Taylor played very well against Rangers. Rodgers clearly doesn’t fancy Alexandro Bernabei. I scratch my head weekly over the centre half situation. Seven and a half million on Nawrocki and Lagerbielke who both appeared surplus to requirements in Brendan’s thought process.

Although Nawrocki has come in recently and played a few minutes, I still suspect he’ll be looking at a centre half. I’m mixed over the need for a centre forward that everybody keeps banging on about. I get that Oh is away to the Asian Cup for the next month or so.

But Kyogo is still the main man and has proven a point this season – that in the big games where it matters he is the go-to guy. So I would never start disregarding Kyogo. When the game opens up his movement is so good and I won’t dispute his finishing.

In big moments you need your big players to step up and he did that again superbly against Rangers. It was really important for Celtic to win on their home patch.

Kyogo’s non-inclusion for the Asian Cup has saved the club from a massive striking problem but it is clear that there are positions that need strengthened.

With £72m in the bank at the end of June bolstered by another Champions League run there should be the funds available for more signings in the £6m range like Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota.

The big question now is whether Mark Lawwell can identify and deliver the signings to meet the expectations of the Celtic manager.

CLICK HERE for Mystery man set for January Celtic exit.

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