Today Celtic finalised its Europa League squad and there were no real shocks in there except that Bolingoli hasn’t been included. That is the decision which effectively confirms that he has no role to play at the club and that he’ll be moved on in short order.
I am a little surprised at that, but it only goes to confirm that the club holds Adam Montgomery in high esteem and that he’s going to play a big part in our future. It also suggests that Liam Scales is being eyed for a left-back role.
All of our new signings make the squad. There are no surprises.
But our 25 man A side does have a few interesting facets to it, and they are to do with UEFA home grown player requirements. If a club wants to have a 25-man squad it needs to list a minimum of eight players produced domestically. Four of those players need to “club” produced.
Celtic would not have been able to muster the eight players but for the signing of James McCarthy.
That’s how far we’ve slipped since the days when we could name a dozen players in a European squad who had been produced in Scotland.
In the last year, Hendry, Christie, Griffiths and Brown have left.
Prior to that we’ve lost Armstrong, Hayes, Tierney, Gordon and others.
I am always banging on here about the need to have a good core of young Scottish players in the team.
Europe is part of the reason why.
Scott Bain, David Turnbull and Greg Taylor were our three non-club produced Scottish players before McCarthy was brought in. Our four named club players are Ralston, Forrest, McGregor and Johnstone.
We don’t need to name Welsh in the A side because he’s still an under-21.
This is handy, but this might be lowest number of Scottish players we’ve had in a while.
I like McCarthy, and his signing made sense to me in that he’ll bring something to the team.
But he also fulfils this important criteria and this is something we always need to be thinking about as we go forward.