Neil Lennon’s Celtic don’t look like the strongest team in Scotland now by any stretch, but turn back the clock a few months, and at least on paper, they were certainly the team to beat. The Hoops’ intentions going into the campaign were as clear as day – they wanted to ensure that they secured what could be an unprecedented tenth straight league title triumph. Although the initial signs at the start of the season were rather positive, things quickly took a turn for the worse once the football itself, rather than transfer business, came to the fore.
Although some might argue that breaking down how Celtic’s 3 permanent signings have fared might be a subjective issue, it does eventually come down to what they’ve produced on the football pitch. The team in general has struggled to find the form of the last many seasons, with Old Firm rivals Rangers leading them on the points table by a massive distance. It will surely take a Herculean effort from the Bhoys to turn their league season around, or it could come down to the Ibrox club falling off the pace that they’ve now managed to set for themselves.
What Transfers Did Celtic Make This Summer?
The Hoops completed a of number key signings over the course of the summer transfer window, out of which only three were permanent acquisitions. This included the purchases of Swiss striker Albian Ajeti from West Ham United, that of Greek keeper Vasilis Barkas from AEK Athens, and finally, young midfield starlet David Turnbull from Motherwell. Apart from these, they also completed the loan signings of Irish centre-half Shane Duffy and Uruguayan full-back Diego Laxalt as well. Neil Lennon also sanctioned a number of exits from the club over the transfer window.
Breaking Down How Celtic’s 3 Permanent Signings Have Fared:
The Greek ace was brought in to address the fact that Celtic decided to offload two of their three prior goalkeeping options over the course of the summer. Touted to be an excellent shot-stopper with solid reactions to go with it as well, the expectations were sky-high when he first arrived at the club. Neil Lennon didn’t hesitate at all to name him as the first-choice for the role, but that all took a complete U-turn just a few weeks later. The former Athens man has struggled to settle into life in Scotland, and his poor form has resulted in last season’s third-choice keeper – Scott Bain, taking over from him as the number one.
This 21-year-old central midfielder was brought in as a potential successor to Scott Brown, but it must be conceded that he’s still far too young to be depended on regularly. Despite his tender age, it’s safe to say that Turnbull has produced nothing so far that would’ve filled the manager with confidence. Although he has made eleven appearances in the league this season – a period which included a goal and an assist as well, it must be conceded that Turnbull has been average at best. While fans have been calling for his inclusion in the team, Lennon’s hesitance means that most of those appearances were short ones off the bench in the second half.
The Swiss international striker was a Premier League flop, having failed to live up to expectations in the English top-flight with West Ham United. Although various question marks were raised when they registered an interest, many expected him to finally live up to the hype in the slower environment of the Scottish game. While it can’t be said that he has flopped at Celtic yet, the signs of him developing into a top striker for the Parkhead club are looking rather bleak. Ajeti is the kind of striker who thrives off second balls into the box, and considering the manner in which their wingers like to cut inside, he isn’t necessarily suited to their current play-style.