After A Slow Start, Is The Celtic Squad Building Plan Finally Coming Into Focus?

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I am a major critics of our club at times … but I also give them credit when it’s due.

I have slammed Lawwell and others for the time it takes to get deals done at times.

But I also give them praise when things start to come into focus, and today is one of those days.

I’m quite surprised at what I see.

Celtic does takes it time on things. We know that.

The speed can be glacial, and frustrating to watch.

But I knew after Sunday, and even before Bolingoli, that this would be the week we completed a striker deal.

The performance was so flat that we needed a game-changer.

Because we are capable of driving forward with determination and purpose when we want to.

Celtic is a club with tens of millions in the bank right now. The funds for a signing splurge are there, and we shouldn’t be messing about. With three signings in – and yes, I’m going to include Elyounoussi in this case – and all of good quality, it begs a question.

Is this the year we ditch the “project signings” and actually go for the quality that improves the team?

With Ajeti and Barkas here on permanent deals the answer looks like it’s a yes.

Add Duffy to that, even on loan, and the four pieces of summer business have all been high quality, premium footballers who are expected to fight for a starting slot.

Today rumour emerges of Oliver Burke; I thought he did very little wrong when he was here on loan and he is a big burly footballer who gives us a physical edge. He, too, would be a candidate to play each week and would make one hell of an option from the bench.

This is a step up from what we’re used to, and I wonder if that’s the intention. If that’s the plan. We knew that the club across the city would go all-in to stop us; are we going to use this window to flex our own muscle and make it clear what we’ll do to clinch this title?

This has taken time to start coming together.

But are we seeing more than just signs of life?

Are we actually seeing some signs of ambition? Of intent?

It is hard to believe that anyone at Parkhead is ignorant as to what is at stake here, and impossible to imagine Lennon settling for less than the best in the season that will define not just his career but his legacy. He is entitled to backing. Are we now seeing him get it?

With Celtic there is always a risk that after the good comes the bad, or that some of the deals we’re working on stall for one reason or another. Yet I am hopeful today because I really didn’t expect us to spend this kind of money when we could have brought the player here on loan.

Celtic clearly likes Ajeti and have faith in him. He is certainly not squad filler.

And that’s the point, because none of these players are.

This is the kind of first team enhancement Rodgers might have hung around for. If we keep this up – and if we’re not doing all this so we can justify a top player being sold – then I think this could well be the best window we’ve seen in a long, long time. It has a long way to go though, and anything can happen.

But I’ll tell you, with a permanent deal done here and Duffy confirmed as having spoken to Lennon, I am more optimistic than I’ve been in a while. This gives is quite the mood lift, as it’s the first real sign we’ve had that the people on our board get the enormity of this campaign.

Long may we continue to be impressed. Honestly, credit where it’s due.

This has been a good day, at the end of a terrible week.

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