Celtic has secured the services of Shane Duffy for the duration of this campaign.
As yet it is unclear if we have an option to make it permanent.
In gettng him we have made what is comfortably the best signing of the window thus far.
Duffy is the player who may just have put ten in a row in the bank, whatever the gibbering fools elsewhere think.
Duffy brings critical strength to the key area where we needed it most.
The signing of Duffy lets Neil Lennon do various important things.
It means that Ajer is not guaranteed a starting place, not as a defender.
But this offers the tantalising prospect of us being able to play Ajer as a central midfielder in the Scott Brown role …
I don’t know whether that’s a consideration, but the player has long said that’s where he sees his future in the game.
It’s one of the reasons he’s said to be unhappy at Celtic Park.
It also opens up the possibility of playing Ajer, Jullien and Duffy as our first choice back three in Lennon’s much more potent 3-5-2 system, with Bitton and Abd Elhamed as our backups in case one of them is injured.
If you listened to Lennon at the weekend, it was one of the developments he was waiting for before making that change for this campaign.
He was, of course, also waiting until we had another striker.
Duffy gets it. He’s here to play and he will have a prominent role in this squad and in the first team.
He’s costing us a lot of money for a loanee.
Yet this is excellent business from the club, maybe the smartest move since we secured Edouard.
Above all else, Duffy is a formidable footballer, and will give us that physical edge at the back which we currently lack.
He is a “non nonsense” footballer of the sort we desperately required.
I’m thrilled with this signing, and that we’ve gotten this and the Turnbull deal done in the space of a week since going of the Champions League is telling and irritating.
Lawwell spend such a long time on these deals, and messes about to such an extent, that we’re taking the same risk every single year now … if these deals had been done even a fornight ago we might not have spent the last few days pulling our hair out.
Nevertheless, since going out of Europe we have gone out and signed two players, at huge cost.
The transfer window spending is now somewhere between £16 million and £18 million depending on the cost of the Elyounoussi loan deal.
That’s formidable stuff, in a season where there are no fans in the grounds.
The timing of it may be frustrating beyond belief, but anyone who says now that Lennon isn’t getting backing in the transfer market as we go for ten simply isn’t telling the truth.
Yes, we’ve dithered and danced around … but that these deals have been done in the aftermath of a shocking result shows the strength of the club.
Although we probably do expect at least one big earner to depart, I am more comfortable knowing that we’ve pushed the boat out first.
I have to give credit where it’s due, and it’s due here.
This is the biggest signing any Scottish club has made in this window so far.
It is a game-changer.
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