The lockdown has everyone around the world thinking of ideas to stimulate the brain, we have watched all kinds of whacky videos on the web over the last few weeks. Ex-Celtic defender Mark Wilson has gone in for an old fashion cull on the Celtic squad instead.
Wilson has turned his focus on the loan players and anyone who is on the last year of their contract. So that includes Fraser Forster, Craig Gordon, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Jonny Hayes, Moritz Bauer, Daniel Arzani. That gives a total of seven players for the retired defender to play around with.
This is a summary what Wilson told Sun Sport his take on these players is.
“If it suited all parties a loan would probably be the best deal again. He’s surplus to requirements at Southampton just now. They’re getting a substantial amount of his wage paid by Celtic and it suits all parties so I think that could probably be the best route to go down.”
“I think Neil will be trying to keep him. If it was me I’d certainly be trying to keep him. There’s no doubt Craig Gordon is an outstanding goalkeeper and he has been a great servant to Celtic in his years there and has had some outstanding performances. He’s just probably been a bit unlucky that Fraser Forster has come in.
“He started very well and you can see the attributes he’s got but I don’t know if he’s been an absolute standout that you would say, like Forster how far can we stretch our wage budget for this guy. I don’t know if he falls into that category. “But I just don’t know if he’d be worth the gamble of a substantial transfer fee or trying to break the wage structure for him.”
“Neil relies on him for a number of positions and a number of different formations. I think there’s always a use for a player like that in the squad. Certainly, if I was Jonny Hayes just now and I’d played that number of games, and in crucial games, I’d be sitting thinking I’m in for another year here.”
“I don’t think he’s really set the heather alight. I think to be a Celtic full-back you need to be very comfortable on the ball and you need to be attacking minded and I think Bauer looks solid enough defensively but maybe not as much on the ball which you would like a full back to be in the modern game.
“He’s certainly got a tool with that long throw of his but I think for £5m when you’ve got Frimpong there it wouldn’t be in the club’s best interest to keep him past his loan deal.”
“There’s a part of me that thinks he deserves to be given a chance. He has been unlucky with some serious injuries. I’m sure the Celtic fans would like to see what this kid has got. I think another loan deal would be the best way.”
A few of Wilson’s comments are surprising. Elyounoussi set Celtic Park alight in the first half of the season, he has only been kept out of the team by injury and a change in formation. Hopefully, Lennon does everything he can to get him back for another season.
The same goes for big Fraser Forster who could easily be a player of the year. The wall deserves a massive amount of credit as to how Celtic’s season went. His name is all over the League Cup win and some of his performances in Europe were breathtakingly brilliant. But wages would be a massive stumbling block.