Celtic are not playing a traditional Boxing Day game this season and have some important games in hand before the international break. It has been an amazing year for Brendan Rodgers’ side and they will be looking to welcome the New Year with an emphatic victory against archrivals Rangers. The Old Firm Derby will certainly make the New Year’s Eve a much more special occasion.
Rodgers’ Celtic look unbeatable at the moment. They are yet to face a defeat in a domestic fixture since the Ulsterman took over in the summer from Ronny Deila. Their record is absolutely remarkable in domestic competitions. Out of their 22 domestic games so far, they have won 21 and drawn 1 that was against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Despite doing so well, we still expect Rodgers to be active in the transfer market as he looks to hit the next level.
So, what should be Rodgers’ agenda during the January transfer window? Let us analyse that.
A natural central midfielder
In the system Rodgers plays at Celtic, a natural number eight should be his priority. Skipper Scott Brown has been excellent this season in the middle of the park but Celtic certainly need a solid partner for him. Nir Bitton is more of a defensive minded midfielder and we have seen him getting frozen out of the starting XI for that.
A winger by trade, Stuart Armstrong has done an excellent job alongside Brown but Rodgers would certainly want him to excel in his natural wide midfielder role. With Patrick Roberts’ loan spell ending in the summer of 2017, Armstrong is likely to get his wide role back which intensifies Celtic’s necessity for a number eight.
Scott Brown is not getting any younger even though his game has largely improved under Rodgers. But in his thirties, you cannot expect him to play week in week out at his best. His fitness level won’t be the same either. An energetic and hard-working midfielder who can both attack and defend would be a welcome addition at Parkhead. Signing someone experienced will be a bonus.
Apart from the central midfield position, Celtic do not need too much of addition in the winter transfer window. They have a deep enough squad and possess the quality as well. The players can easily take their domestic dominance to a whole new level and do better in Europe next season with the experience of this season’s Champions League under their belt.