I see a few people on the Facebook group, and on social media in general, are complaining about our lack of signings. We’ve made three thus far; one is a youth prospect who we won’t see in the first team for a while, one has been loaned back to his club and the third cannot play in the Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg, and is probably going to replace at least one departing player.
If things remained like this would we be “stronger when the window shuts”? Of course not. There’s simply no argument that as things stand we’ve failed to take the big step forward that our fans had been hoping for.
But the window has been opened for nine days, and it’s not like we haven’t been busy in it. The deal for Compper was done before it even opened. Lewis Morgan has been added since. Leo Mazis was done some days ago, and most recently Morgan has been added to the Parkhead ranks. Compared to other years, this is quick work.
It’s Brendan himself who said that he wants us to emerge from this window stronger than we went into it; you have to trust that. He has plans and he has the money to pull them together, more money, perhaps, than most people might think. He knows which areas he wants to improve too, and in light of the way Scottish defences line up against us one of the priorities is to bring in a Nakamura type player who can unravel a packed defence.
Not before time. We’ve not had one of those since the wee man left us.
I doubt rumours linking us with Joe Allen have any traction; this is the same story as was so prominent last year, where we actually had a chance of getting him and knew where he would fit into the team. We have a top footballer in Olivier Ntcham who plays exactly the same role; it’s difficult to see where Allen would fit into the team.
Of course, if Armstrong goes it might well be that Brendan prefers Allen to the guy who’s constantly been linked as his replacement, and who this blog is a huge fan of …. John McGinn. Only time will tell. The manager knows the player and what he can bring. The real stumbling block appears to be Stoke and their unwillingness to sell.
There will definitely be more deals, both in and out of the club. I expect the next seven days to be pretty hectic. But don’t count on anything major until the window enters its final week, when the team will be back in Scotland and football service resumed. Brendan will want to be here when the signings are paraded, not over in Dubai.
But just because nothing’s been announced doesn’t mean that nothing is going on. Our best work in recent years has come out of the blue; Olivier Ntcham signed in the summer without a single word about our interest having leaked out, and he was extensively scouted and talks had been ongoing over the deal for weeks at that point.
I have little doubt that several deals are in their advanced stages.
By the time the window shuts our team is going to look different.