There are people who wonder if Ange will emerge from this window with a stronger starting eleven.
They wonder about Juranovic being replaced by Johnston and if that will ultimately prove to be an upgrade.
They wonder if Jenz will leave, replaced by Kobayashi and whether that will be an upgrade.
They wonder if Giakoumakis going will leave us with a Korean player whose too raw or lacking in experience to be an appropriate replacement.
These are all legit questions.
For every player we’ve brought in, one is going to leave.
Even Iwata will be replacing our loanee Abildgaard. Are we any stronger as a result of these changes, or are we just swapping like for like, to no benefit at all?
There’s an easy way to look at this.
Johnston is younger than Juranovic and will be at Celtic Park for a long time to come. He’s only going to get better, and he made his debut at Ibrox and didn’t look rattled in the least.
That kid is going to be just fine.
The Korean striker will offer us more during games than Giakoumakis did. He works harder, holds up the ball, he will link up with players … will he score as many goals?
Eventually, I think he will but there is little doubt that in terms of the style he will be a better fit, slotting right in there in a way that Giakoumakis always struggled to do.
Jenz, I will be disappointed to lose him if all we’re doing is getting a like for like swap.
It looks likely that Jenz will go, and maybe even as early as the close of business today.
In that case, then, Welsh has to stay, because three centre backs leaves you scrambling and sweating if even one of them goes down. With four you have that backup, that redundancy and we need that if we’re going to win this treble.
So that’s worth watching.
Iwata will be a better midfield bet, by far, than the player he’s replacing because for all the hype that surrounded Abildgaard he didn’t do it for us, not even close, and having him in the squad was pretty redundant as a result of that.
Iwata will play. He will contribute.
He will give us an additional element which none of the players we’ve signed in that position have.
Every team which seeks to win things needs two options in every position and Celtic has that for the first time in my living memory and as long as we don’t get rid of two defenders to bring one in I’m very confident that we will emerge from this window with greater strength in depth across the boards, where every player in the squad will be there because they bring something to the table, they aren’t just there to make up the numbers.
That’s what strength in depth is.
Otherwise you call it depth. You call it bloat.
You look at our bench in games right now and you see a stronger squad than we’ve had in our lifetimes, where every player who is listed amongst the subs is capable of coming on and replacing, without any loss to the team, whoever they came on for.
A 25 man squad, of quality.
That’s what you aim for … and the end of this window I fully expect that this is exactly what we’re going to have.