Celtic had a disaster summer in terms of transfer business compared to what rivals Rangers did following Gerrard’s arrival at the Ibrox. But they reacted sharply as soon as the window reopened this January and roped in youngster Oliver Burke on loan from West Brom for the remainder of the campaign.
The Hoops are also closing in on PSG starlet Timothy Weah (as reported by Gianluca DiMarzio) to add more firepower in the attacking third, but Rodgers’ men must focus on other areas to defend their Premiership crown.
A crisis at the back is understandable considering the contract conundrum of Dedryck Boyata who will be a free agent at the end of the ongoing campaign and has shown no indication of stretching his stay rejecting multiple extension offers.
Jack Hendry has failed to impress at Parkhead and is linked with a loan move to the third tier of English football, according to a report from the Northern Echo. Veteran Mikael Lustig is unlikely to be handed a new deal whereas Filip Benkovic would be returning to his parent club Leicester City once the season concludes. The Bhoys should revamp the backline at the earliest but, at the same time, must look for veteran individuals, particularly in midfield to form a proper fusion of youth as well as experience.
Skipper Scott Brown is rumoured to depart in the summer for Western Melbourne FC, a team which will compete in the A-League from the next season onwards. His egress would be leaving a massive void in midfield and the gaffer Brendan Rodgers must eye a like-for-like replacement to inject a similar destructiveness in the centre of the pitch.
Youssouf Mulumbu does not seem to be in the manager’s plan and is past his prime. Olivier Ntcham, though impressive, is too young to fill Brown’s shoes. Callum McGregor is indeed versatile but lacks the strength to combat with physicality in the middle of the park. Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic are more suited in an advanced creative role and should be allowed the liberty to attack. The focus, therefore, should be more on midfield compared to other slots.
Rangers, their prime title rivals, are close to bringing back 34-year-old playmaker Steven Davis at Ibrox after a glittering six-year spell with Southampton in the Premier League. The champions must take a similar approach while recruiting new names as the experience in midfield would be guiding them towards retaining their domestic supremacy in spite of Rangers’ revival under Steven Gerrard’s tutelage.