There Is Not A Lot Of Bloat In This Celtic Squad, But We Do Need To Trim The Fat.

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Tonight, the Ibrox club gets ready to play its first game in Europe this season, and one of the talking points when they announced their European squad was how many first team capable players would miss out in it. The high profile omission of Ben Davies jumped out at you immediately, and the view around their club is that they want to move him on.

He was an expensive bit of business for them. But now as The Mooch goes full steam ahead with his 100 forwards system, expensive central defenders are considered surplus to requirements. But it’s a sign of how bloated their squad currently is, and they need to ship players out if they are going to realise their ambition of breaking even from this window. I wish them luck. They’re going to need it to clear any more of their deadwood out the door.

Yet the only reason this conversation isn’t really happening around Celtic yet is that we don’t have to worry about Champions League registrations for another month. But the issue is still live and current, and at the moment, although more players are probably incoming, we still have too many of them in and around the squad.

Most of our bloat is in players on modest contracts, signed for modest sums. Albian Ajeti is the notable exception to that, but there might be movement on him soon. James McCarthy cost us nothing except in wages … he will need to be moved on. There’s Ideguchi as well, who cost us a few quid and has contributed nothing to the cause. He is away on loan, and won’t be back until January next year. Still, it would be good to move him on.

Aside from that we have the likes of Welsh, Scales, Soro, Johnson, Bain and Siegrist. I don’t know, but I suspect we might need to add Haksabanovic onto that list eventually. I wonder if he’s going to get games for us. I wonder if we’re not better trying to punt him.

Kobayashi is another one, but I think we’ll keep him because the manager has accentuated the need for us to have “four players” competing for the two centre back slots, and unless he means Welsh or Scales then that’s who he’s talking about.

There are some issues with moving some of those guys on. Welsh, Johnston, McCarthy and Bain all count towards our domestic player figures. Bain I don’t think will go anywhere for the foreseeable although he’s second choice now and would be third if we do sign a keeper. Our current European squad needs eight Scottish players; Bain, Ralston, Welsh, Taylor, McCarthy, Forrest, McGregor, Johnston and Turnbull give us nine. But if you imagine that McCarthy is gone we’re down to eight … that’s enough, and particularly as five are club produced.

But that leaves seventeen players from the rest of the squad. Which is why we need to be very careful what we do now, and why we need to watch who else we sign.

This is a strong squad and that is all to the good, but this is where it becomes complicated. There is still a little fat to trim, even at Celtic Park.

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  • Johnno says:

    This is always going to remain an ongoing problem within a celtic CL squad with the 8 home grown players required within it.
    We need 8 yet a few are going to provide us with very little over the whole campaign as a season, with bain and Welsh being the most notable at present.
    Turnbull and Forrest still have provided ourselves with very little in the bigger games and especially within European football.
    Taylor and Ralston, are they really CL quality, if depended upon in full backs roles? Suspect imo, but grand for a SPFL campaign on most occasions.
    Of course calmac is our main jewel, yet still remain a player short currently.
    This nonsense of having to depend on players just to make up numbers has to be improved upon, as a ridiculous situation still remains, by players potentially missing out on being involved within a CL squad but still going to be needed moreso within a Scottish campaign than a few names within a CL squad?
    Tough decisions await for some, but at least they remain young enough to improve to get to that CL standard.
    Agreed that the overall squad needed expansion beyond the 25 needed for CL as with injuries at the back end of last season, we looked fairly short on numbers at times, don’t look like being an issue this season overall, so squad depth stronger than last season which still stands to become even stronger before the window closes imo.
    Still believe that a 3CB option would be our best option for CL in order to accommodate our 8 Scottish players required within it, and still keeping a very strong squad with variations within it imo.
    Will be interesting to see what Rodgers decides upon, regardless of the tough decision making that awaits.

  • Eamonn Little says:

    Can maybe add Bernabei to that regrettably.Much as it saddens me to say just isn’t working out for the bhoy.Maybe loan him out to another club in UK.

  • Adam Thomas says:

    Did bain not just sign a 3 Yr deal ? so I’d imagine it would be siegrist.

  • Roonsa says:

    You wish that lot luck? I don’t. I wish them anything but luck..

    Oh look. It’s another penalty to Rangers.

    What a surprise.

  • Dougie Swinton says:

    Is Mcarthy included in the list of Scottish players?
    Surely not

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