Celtic were rocked by a defeat just at the end of last year in the Old Firm derby to give them a wake-up call. The gap between them and Rangers has never been so close in the recent times as both the team sit level on points, the Gers having played a game more. Last season, around this time, the gap between the two was 11 points, and Celtic need a good transfer window to continue their domination in the Scottish Premiership.
Latest reports from BBC confirms that Celtic have secured a six-month loan deal for West Bromwich Albion winger Oliver Burke. The 21-year-old came up from Nottingham Forrest’s academy and got his big break when he moved to German outfit RB Leipzig who were making shockwaves in the Bundesliga. However, he was let go by the club within one season as the Baggies agreed to pay a hefty £15m fee for him.
The winger though has struggled to get a foothold into Darren Moore’s side and has made just three appearances in the Championship this season, playing a total of only 46 minutes of football in the English second tier. Given that the winger is not a regular, he might take some time to settle in and play full 90 minutes of football and what makes this deal worse is that the loan spell is just for six months.
The winger has potential, and he was destined for big thing 2-3 years back but Burke has certainly gone off the boil. The fact that he wasn’t even making it to a Championship side’s starting eleven suggests that he has a lot of work to do and it remains to be seen whether he would be able to make an instant impact for the Hoops.
To go with that, the Bhoys have James Forrest as their first choice winger to start from the right. There is no doubt that Forrest would continue as the preferred option given the form he has shown and Burke is likely to be the second choice. It’s true that the Hoops are going to have some extra fixtures to contest in as they have made it to the Europa League knockout stages, and they might need that extra bit of squad depth.
But a signing like this doesn’t bode well for the likes of Jonny Hayes and Lewis Morgan who have been waiting in the wings to get their opportunity. In terms of potential, one can say Burke is ahead of the two but signing the winger isn’t a necessity for the club. Even someone like Ryan Christie can be tried on the right when required.
Celtic needs to look at bringing in strikers and fullback and if they get their hands on them by the end of the transfer window, then one can say they have done decent business. However, for now, Rodgers has signed a player on a short-term deal which they don’t really need.
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