Saturday, August 13, 2022

Areas Of The Squad That Celtic Need To Focus On During The Summer Transfer Window

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Pratyay Maitra
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Despite early jitters after a dreadful 2021-22 campaign, Celtic exceeded all expectations this season by reconquering the Premiership silverware. The transition under Ange Postecoglou has been stupendous and the focus must now be on improving their performance in Europe, particularly after Rangers‘ dream Europa League run.

The Hoops roped in many new names over the past two windows. They have been spot on in terms of squad reconstruction, however, the gaffer is keen on having two quality options in each position as reported last week by The Athletic. They will target four to six summer signings in order to perform across all four competitions in the forthcoming future.

Make The Loan Deals Permanent

While the idea is to build depth as well as enhance quality all over the pitch, Celtic must prioritize a couple of deals before it gets too late. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Filipe Jota have been majestic in their respective roles, but the on-loan pair are yet to agree on permanent terms in spite of prolonged negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur and Benfica.

Carter-Vickers was rock-solid in the heart of the backline, whereas the creative spark of Jota from the flanks made him irreplaceable in the attacking third. The time is ticking though for all parties involved and it remains to be seen whether the pair are tied down within the next few days.

Celtic playmaker Tom Rogic
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 14: Tom Rogic of Celtic is seen at full time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park on May 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Explore The Japanese Connection

A severe knee injury sidelined Christopher Jullien for more than a year and the French centre-back is now behind Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Stephen Welsh in the pecking order. He needs a productive pre-season to stake a claim in Postecoglou’s plan, but the manager must opt for a new central defender amid uncertainties over Carter-Vickers’ future.

The former Yokohama F. Marinos boss used his contacts in Japan and snapped up the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi to strengthen the set-up. The rumours surrounding Ko Itakura have reemerged recently and it’s time for Postecoglou to explore his Japanese connection to lure in the Manchester City loanee.

Bolster The Midfield

The Bhoys endured a double blow when their midfield duo of Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton bid farewell against Motherwell in the final gameweek. Although they have ample options in the centre of the pitch, Bitton’s versatility and Rogic’s creativity can’t be matched unless they bring in alternatives. Itakura, also capable of operating as a ‘number 6′, might be viewed as the Israeli’s successor, nevertheless, the club must explore the market extensively to replace the Socceroos’ playmaker.

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