Premiership giants Celtic haven’t been at their free-flowing best since the commencement of the new season, and various factors have been touted to be the reason behind their lacklustre performances. The Parkhead club started the campaign in decent fashion, but have gradually fallen off the pace being set by Rangers. They have stumbled at a number of unexpected hurdles, with Neil Lennon’s credibility often being questioned by the fans as well. The Hoops faithful have been far from happy about their title charge, and it must be conceded that their concerns are understandable.
The Bhoys currently find themselves in second place on the league table, trailing Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side by a whopping nine points. Although it could be argued that they still have two games in hand, any professional of the sport will vouch for the fact that points on the table are a better option than games in hand. Although goals have been sort of hard to come by at times, it’s the number of them they have been shipping that is sure to come as a worry to the manager and his staff alike. The summer signing of Shane Duffy was made to address that, but it seemingly hasn’t worked out quite to plan.
For starters, they’ve been forced to deal with a lot of concurrent injuries since the start of the campaign, that have all forced Lennon to give opportunities to back-up players. The likes of Nir Bitton and Olivier Ntcham have seemingly become regulars in the side, and this has brought forth even more scrutiny from the fans. The one signing that they’re sure to be happy about is that of Diego Laxalt, who in a short period of time, has seemingly made the left-back role his own. With that said, there are a number of positions which will currently be viewed as problematic, and to that end, here are the three areas that Celtic need to strengthen in the winter.
Here Are The Three Areas That Celtic Need To Strengthen In The Winter:
With Mohamed Elyounoussi and James Forrest as the only realistic wide options, Neil Lennon must focus on acquiring a proper out-and-out winger in the winter. The injury to Forrest has put the Hoops in a tight spot, with the manager often seen resorting to playing Ryan Christie there. As effective as Christie has been at times, it must be conceded that he’s at his best when operating in a more central role. Moreover, the dependence on Elyounoussi to provide creativity as well as goals is sure to be taxing on the Norwegian too. At this rate, keeping him fit for the entirety of the season will surely be a challenge for the Celts’ fitness team.
Although Celtic did make a signing to try and address this issue in the summer, it’s safe to say that David Turnbull hasn’t lived up to expectations. The youngster, despite only being given limited opportunities, doesn’t currently look up to the standard that’s required in the Hoops’ core. Scott Brown’s rising age means that he has slowed down considerably, while Callum McGregor’s jarring inconsistency is sure to be an issue as well. Celtic need to bring in a slightly experienced midfielder who can not only protect the back-line but also conduct play and create chances in the final third.
When Shane Duffy arrived from Brighton on loan, there were high hopes among the Celtic faithful. A veteran defender with vast amounts of Premier League experience, it made Duffy seem like he had the perfect CV to come in and dominate at Parkhead. However, things haven’t played out like that since he was brought into the eleven. Despite being a dominant defender in the box, Duffy’s lack of pace and athleticism has cost Celtic on numerous occasions this season. The Irishman seems to be beaten far too easily, and it reached a point where Lennon was forced to drop him for their last outing. With Kristoffer Ajer’s stock constantly rising and taking Christopher Jullien’s inconsistency into account as well, it’s high-time that Celtic sign a quality defender to partner up with their Norwegian prodigy.