You know that old joke about waiting for a bus and three come along at once?
It’s been a long time since that happened with Celtic signings, but today might be one of those red-letter days, one of those ones we look back on in years to come and pinch ourselves and ask “did that really happen, or was it something I imagined?”
With issues relating to whether players will have to quarantine still up in the air – the regulations can be read in two ways, and one of them suggests not but you never know – the club appears ready for a little shock and awesome; a rash of signings on the same day.
How many could there be? Well, yesterday we closed one. We seem to be on the brink of closing two more right now with a third being negotiated.
Could we get them all done on time, and in the window? You know something? I think we very well might. Which would be amazing.
So who are these guys, and where are we getting them?
Let’s start with the guy who’s already in.
The Israeli comes from the agent Dudu Duhan, a name we’re all familiar with.
Celtic could have put a wing on this guy’s house before now.
He’s pointed us in the direction of several players in the past.
There are some who accuse him of loading us down with dreck; actually, this is not the case. He’s recommended at least three players who we have signed and gone on to like a Hell of a lot; Nir Bitton, Beram Kayal and Ismael Soro.
Two of those guys are still in the squad, and we all have good memories of Kayal.
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I’d have argued that, actually, Abd Elhamed was a pretty good footballer, although he spent as much time out injured as he did on the park, which was the major sticking point with him.
Liel Abada is, by all accounts, a real talent. He predominantly plays on the right side of midfield, but I heard today that he’s equally comfortable on the left, which is music to my ears as I think we need several of those multi-position players in this window. Indeed, he’s been described as an attacking midfielder, a winger and as a striker in various reports.
A lot like our own James Forrest, who I’ve always maintained is super-valuable to us because he is comfortable right across the top of the pitch, and produces no matter where he’s played.
Indeed, I’ve long thought he was a striker we erroneously played out wide.
Like Forrest, this guy scores goals and gets assists.
His age shouldn’t discourage anyone; he actually has plenty of experience including as an international.
The boy from Watford, who was apparently in Glasgow overnight, is a said, by some, to be a project player and someone being signed to play a role in the academy team. This is erroneous. He was last year’s player of the year at the EPL club’s and was on the cusp of the first team squad. He is not being signed as a bit-part player for our colts side.
I strongly suspect that he’s seen as a first team footballer. I think those who have doubts about him might well be in for the shock of a lifetime.
Which brings us to the defender, Carl Starfelt, a deal which was said to be close to complete. We’re not over the line with it yet, but reports do suggest that it could be done today and of course we pretty much need it to be.
We’re allowed two “wildcard” signings next week before the game, but let’s be honest, we need a centre back and a right back so one of them really does need to be done quickly even if the others takes a couple more days to complete.
Reports suggest that he’s having a Celtic medical in Moscow.
Once that’s done, the paperwork can be signed and he can get himself on a plane. It would be great to see that one tied up this afternoon, although I suspect the Lawal announcement will come first.
The last area where action appears imminent is at right back, and we have two options, it seems, both at Rennes in France, a great hunting ground for us in recent years.
Neither of those deals is as close as those for Starfelt and Lawal, but we have a little more time because of the wildcard … there are other clubs interested in both players. That’s to be expected.
But we are said to be the favourites in at least one of the deals and it’s hoped that something can be swiftly done on that front, because we badly need it.
Reports today have us linked with a left-sided winger, Croatian Kristijan Lovric; it’s not the first time his name has come up and if we’re truly after him we need to move fast before someone beats us to it.
This is where we stand on deadline day.
Let’s see what happens.