Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Breaking Down Whether Celtic Should Hold On To Their Three Summer Loan Acquisitions

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

Premiership giants Celtic started the season hoping to achieve what would’ve been their tenth straight league title. Although reaching that goal at the end of the campaign is still a very real possibility, it must be conceded that they haven’t got off to the most ideal start. Having played 12 matches in the league so far, Neil Lennon’s men have only managed to pick up 29 points, which included a draw against Aberdeen, and more frustratingly a defeat at the hands of fierce rivals Rangers. Not only were they beaten in that match, but they were actually completely outclassed by Steven Gerrard’s rampant Gers team.

Celtic’s start to life in Europe has been far from great either, having managed just one point from their three fixtures so far. While their defeat to Serie A giants AC Milan was completely expected, few would’ve thought that they would be handed a hammering by Slavia Prague – arguably the weakest team in the group. Currently sat at second place on the Premiership table with a whopping nine-point gap between themselves and Rangers, Neil Lennon will be hoping that his team is able to get it’s act together soon before fans officially start calling for his head.

How Have The Celts’ Summer Signings Fared?

Neil Lennon’s men didn’t make too many acquisitions to the team in the summer, but a few of the players that they did bring in have outright flopped. The most worrying of the lot has undoubtedly been goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, who despite being brought in as first-choice, has been forced to play second fiddle to Scott Bain over recent weeks. Their other acquisitions included midfield starlet David Turnbull, and Swiss striker Albian Ajeti. While these players have had key parts to play, it must be taken into account that Celtic made three key loan signings as well – Diego Laxalt, Shane Duffy, and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Here’s What Celtic Should Do With Their Three Loan Summer Signings:

What Celtic Should Do With Their Three Loan Summer Signings - Celtic players walk off
Celtic players leave the pitch at the final whistle during the UEFA Europa League 1st round group H football match between Celtic and AC Milan at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on October 22, 2020. (Photo by RUSSELL CHEYNE / POOL / AFP)

What Celtic Should Do With Their Three Loan Summer Signings

Shane Duffy

The Irishman was brought in from Brighton as Neil Lennon’s men looked to add some much-needed solidity to his back-line. Although the initial signs were positive, its safe to say that the former Premier League man has failed to live up to the massive billing. While a lot of that could be down to expectations, it must also be taken into account that Duffy was never going to offer the most athletic presence at the back. His strengths are physicality and heading ability, and that’s the two aspects where he stands apart. However, in terms of attributes on the field, the defender has struggled. The Irishman has already made a number of individual errors this season, and keeping him beyond the summer would be nothing but a mistake.

Diego Laxalt

The Uruguayan speedster was brought in from AC Milan as a left-back option, and it’s safe to say that he has fit into life in Scotland like a duck to water. Having effectively replaced Greg Taylor as the first choice in the role, his performances have been of a superb standard as well. Capable of bombarding forward and overlapping the winger on every chance, the defender has impressed in the limited time that he has been at the club. Although most Celtic fans will want to see Laxalt being acquired permanently, agreeing a deal with Milan might be a tougher task than usual. If they’re able to meet the required price tag though, then this move should be a no-brainer.

Mohamed Elyounoussi

The Norwegian speedster has been one of the Celts’ lone shining lights so far this season because if it wasn’t for his goals, Neil Lennon’s men would likely find themselves in a rather despicable position. His attacking contributions have been pivotal across various key matches so far this term, while his general ability on the ball is the best in the entire roster too. While it has been widely accepted that Celtic did try to sign him permanently last summer, they were seemingly unable to reach an agreement with Southampton. This is a player that Lennon’s side should look to bring in at all costs at the end of the current campaign.

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