As Jim White called time on the bizarre, yellow-stained affair that is ‘transfer deadline day’ many have been evaluating the business that Celtic have conducted over the summer months. It is important to stress that all five signings; Sinclair, Toure, De Vries, Dembele and most recently Gamboa have all been added and all look like astute acquisitions. It is refreshing to see Rodgers identify problem positions and attract players that can have an immediate impact.
However, there is a case the to be made that there has been an opportunity missed. The defeat to Hapoel Beer Sheva, in Israel, highlighted that while improvements have been vast, there is still huge room for improvement. Seven days had passed between Champions League qualification and the closing of the transfer window, yet the only addition has been Gamboa. When you factor in that our Champions League group contains both Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the imperious Barcelona as well as dark horses Borussia Monchengladbach, things can appear ominous.
Fans have suggested that we should be happy with the additions. That all the money won from the Champions League can be squirreled away, a hidden arsenal ready to be unleashed should anyone in Scotland prove themselves strong enough to lift their heads from the parapet. That to me shows a real lack of ambition, a small club mentality that has all too often blighted our club in recent years. Instead of worrying what rivals are doing we should be looking to elevate ourselves. A sizable investment could not only have made the difference on the domestic front, but would also have given us a fighter’s chance when we square up against some of the goliaths of the continent.
What I am suggesting is not some lunatic’s splurge, a spending spree that could kill the club, but a healthy injection of playing staff that from this onlooker’s vantage point is still sorely lacking. With many transfers nowadays being described as ‘undisclosed’ it is hard to be accurate, but it appears that Celtic spent an approximate £5.3million and received in fees an approximate £3million. Had the transfer of Šimunović gone ahead Celtic would have actually made a profit this window.
Of course, you must factor in that Brendan Rodgers has already improved a number of the players and will no doubt continue to do so. Sadly, for me, it is an opportunity missed.
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