It’s the last day of the transfer window and it looks like it’s going to the wire.
Sometime in the next few hours we will complete the signing of Odsonne Eduoarde on a season long loan, with an option to buy.
I am going to get to that deal in a moment.
Other deals have to be getting worked on. Will they make it over the line? Possibly, and possibly not. Not much information, right? What can I tell you? Sometimes these things work out and sometimes they don’t. But people have to be busy.
Hey, it’s their own fault for leaving it till this late in the day.
When I said the other day there was a need for bringing in a central defender and a striker I meant it … both are crucial positions.
And the manager is well aware of it.
We have a significant issue in central defence, which is why I still expect a signing in that area. Simunovic has a history of injuries. Boyata has had two long-term ones since signing for us. Erik Sviatchenko is also prone to picking up the occasional knock and being out.
If we ignore that we’re making a rod for our own backs.
Brendan wants someone with a bit of experience to come in. Ignore talk of being the fourth choice; the manager wants somebody to come in and challenge the current first team players. That’s what makes good sides, good competition.
And we now have it in most areas of the pitch, except at the back.
I said to you the other day there is a strategy involved in Brendan’s decision to play Nir Bitton at the back in certain games; even if we sign a defender today you can most definitely expect to see the big man play there in the SPL, probably as part of a back three.
But that’s a tactic we probably won’t utilise in Europe, not against this calibre of opposition.
But a defender is a priority today and I would consider it an insult to be told otherwise.
We made a late bid for Denayer yesterday which I described as desperate. I was right to. Because Coetzee was supposed to come in, and when he didn’t we panicked. If there’s nobody else on the list that is bad stuff, it is weak.
The striker situation is a little different; here, it looks as if we will exceed expectations.
Why do I say that?
I say it because it’s true.
Because this kid is class, the kind of quality that is simply out of reach for most clubs in this league and we have a chance to nip in ahead of top continental sides and get this guy on a permanent deal in the summer … for an eight figure sum.
Once I would have said that was a ridiculous idea … but I’ve predicted that Brendan will break our transfer record on someone and if Dembele goes for the kind of cash a lot of folk expect that will free up the money first to make the Roberts deal permanent and secondly to bring Osamane to Celtic on a long term deal.
These are young players, top players, who will still have enormous re-sale value, and the money we get for Dembele looks certain to smash, once and for all, the ridiculous notion that players in Scotland are worth less than players playing elsewhere.
All the matters is the quality, and if you got it then teams have to pay the market rate for it.
Mark my words, this kid has everything. This is vastly better than the standard I had hoped for; I anticipated a 30 something journeyman … which I would have taken, of course, as experience is never to be sneezed at … but a top drawer young player who already has a sterling pedigree and graduated from one of the finest academy sides in world football … come on, seriously, anyone who complains about that is clearly off their nut.
This window closes in about seven hours.
A lot can – and will – happen before then, but how much of it will be at Celtic?
We’ll get the Osamane deal over the line … but the central defender is another story again. It won’t be Aden Flint, no matter what reports south of the border were suggesting earlier, but deals have to be being worked away on, or we’re all entitled to have serious questions when this night is over.
There’s no telling when certain players will be back. There’s no guarantee they will stay fit when all have had repeated issues that require treatment.
We’re facing one Hell of a lot of fixtures in the next few months … and no matter how tonight goes I still don’t expect a backup for Kieran Tierney … we are asking for trouble there, and I will not be in the least bit surprised if this is something we come to sorely regret. Have you noticed how every team in the league has targeted this kid for the most vicious rough-house treatment going? That’s not a coincidence. And it will get worse.
But if we don’t sign another centre half that’s yet another hostage to fortune we didn’t need … so no excuses, Celtic.
Even a one year loan, or a short term contract, means we’re not taking our chances on the current lot.
Make it happen, and we’ll all be generally delighted with the business done.