There has been a little grumbling in certain places, but not enough to be worrying.
The nature of the grumbling is simple; Celtic seems to be about to spend £12 million in transfer cash on maintaining the squad we have right now, a squad that because of the departures of Rogic and Bitton is actually seen as weaker than the one that ended the season.
But I’ll tell you, my personal view on this is that we’re stronger for the signing of these two if that’s what’s about to happen, even accounting for the two who have gone.
We needed to get these two.
They have been such big players in the last campaign that even with a solid Plan B we would have been weaker both out wide and in defence. Securing these guys is about more than that though. It’s a statement of intent, a statement that says “the lessons of the past have been learned and we don’t let these guys go anymore.”
It is a statement of their confidence in what is going on at the football club.
If these two sign it confirms that our dressing room is a happy place, and that players – all the players – want to be here in the long term. It speaks to good team spirit. It speaks to a genuine belief in the direction we’re heading in under the manager.
Spending that kind of money sends a big signal to the club across town as well … and that signal is that we are serious again about stomping them into the dirt.
There is a difference between having someone else’s players and having your own.
I always prefer it when the guys at our club belong here, that they are tied down on long term deals, that they want to be at Celtic.
I never feel you get everything out of a loanee that you should … not that these guys haven’t done their bit, but I always feel loan players hold something back.
Every player at this club will be better in the next campaign than they were in the one just past; I believe that. I believe that this isn’t just retaining the strength of the current squad; signing these guys on permanent deals does more than just hold us at the level we finished last time. It makes us stronger as a team and as a club.
It is backing the manager to a quite phenomenal degree, and long may that continue. Once these deals are concluded, we can start to put the rest of the manager’s plans into action.
For all that, these are significant bits of transfer business and better business than most in the media expected us to do.
Which makes it a show of force as well.
This is Celtic operating from a position of strength. Long may it continue.