The Silly Season is upon us, or nearly anyway.
It’s usually characterised by talk of players leaving, but this year there will be a lot of chatter about players who are coming into the club as well. And that’s started already with rumour and counter-rumour linking us to various footballers across Europe.
Today a new name has emerged, or rather an old one has; Charley Musonda.
He was linked with us in the summer, on a permanent move, before Chelsea shut that talk down by handing him a bumper new deal. He signed it apparently in the belief that he would be able to play first team football; about a month or so ago he sent out a tweet after being snubbed for the umpteenth time, in which his frustration was clear.
He’ll be allowed to leave on loan in January.
Musonda is an exciting player, as I wrote at the time. The problem is, he plays as an attacking midfielder and we’re well covered in that position. There is talk that he might come in and play instead of Roberts, who’s injury will rob us of his talents well beyond the New Year, but to me that would be bad prioritising. So would a move that brought someone like John McGinn to Celtic Park only to have him sit on the bench.
Midfield at Celtic is a crowded area. Too crowded maybe. Rumours spring up every time a player vanishes for a while, such as those stalking cyberspace about Tom Rogic. When you have so many footballers competing for such a limited number of positions this will happen, and we certainly don’t need fresh legs in that area. One player – Jonny Hayes, who we paid good money for in the summer – has barely seen a first team appearance.
And in the meantime, crucial things have been missed.
I am one of those fans who usually believes that a team can never have enough firepower. It’s goals that win games, after all, and any team which aspires to glory needs to be able to put the ball in the net. Musonda is a class act, with lightening quick feet and the vision that will turn any SPL defence to jelly.
He’d also be a potent asset against Zenit.
But our problem isn’t with scoring goals; it’s with how many we lose, and how fragile our back line seems every time we play a team that can put the ball on the deck. Our central defence is the area we need to be focussed on. Anything else would be a farce.
All of us will feel better when that position is addressed and until it is I can’t get animated about anything else.
Rumours of us buying some kid from Dundee are to be ignored.
Surely no-one at our club can possibly think that’s the answer. As a long term prospect, yes, perhaps but this defence needs someone who can come in right now and play. We are sitting on a pot of gold, and if the rumours about City spending big on Van Dijk are true the manager ought to get every single penny of that windfall, and not one bit less. Reports about the boy at Leipzig have been flatly denied in German, although our media continues to write about it.
I am sure this area will be addressed.
Brendan knows what has to be done.
I also trust that he’s looking at the full-back areas because they, too, are in need of beefing up. God help us if something happens to Kieran Tierney which is not out of the question when you consider the rough-housing that kid gets at every Scottish ground.
We don’t have to spend big on a left back, we just need one for cover.
But central defence is non-negotiable.
I will be far more excited about rumours of us juicing up the goal-scoring potential of this team once we’ve firmly locked and bolted the back door.