Following another underwhelming Champions League campaign, former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has urged the club to take decisive action in the January transfer window.
Celtic’s exit from the Champions League group stages without a win for the second consecutive year has highlighted the need for strategic reinforcements.
Lennon, who led Celtic to memorable victories, including the iconic 2-1 win over Barcelona and a double over Tuesday night’s opponents, has called for the club to make some big moves in the upcoming January transfer window.
The absence of victories in the last two seasons’ group stages, with the looming final game against Feyenoord, has saw the Hoops go fifteen matches without a win in Europe.
Speaking on TNT Sports, Lennon critiqued the team’s defending and overall progress, noting that last season’s experience did not translate into improvement this year.
He suggested that the responsibility now falls on Brendan Rodgers and the Celtic management to not only win the Scottish Premiership but also to prepare adequately for the next Champions League campaign.
Lennon’s recommendations include bringing in new players and possibly trimming the current squad. He acknowledges the challenges of the January transfer window but stresses the importance of this period for bedding in new signings and setting the stage for future improvements.
Lennon said: “It’s very poor defending, Scales gets all in a tangle, Carter-Vickers sells himself, but at this stage psychologically their heads are down because they’ve got the goal. You can’t take the quality away from Immobile, he is 33 but still has the hunger and the quality.
“Last season they got two points, so you thought they could’ve used that experience for this season. But if anything, it’s not gone forward, it’s sort of stalled if not gone backwards. It’s a work in progress.
“Now the thinking is what happens in January. The onus is on Celtic to win the league and qualify for the Champions League again, and I’m sure Brendan will be wanting a few more players and to trim the squad. All of that thinking has to go into now.
“Ultimately, it’s difficult to do business in January, but you have to try and bring players in, bed them in between January and the end of the season and then look to improve again. They’ve got Feyenoord at home, it’s winnable but they have to try and finish with a win to get a glimpse of progress going forward.”
With the upcoming home game against Feyenoord, Lennon sees an opportunity for Celtic to secure a win and demonstrate some progress. However, the emphasis is clearly on the longer-term strategy, focusing on the January transfer window as a crucial period for Celtic to address its shortcomings and bolster its ranks for future success.