Right now, out of ourselves and Ibrox, they are having the better transfer window. It does not translate into anything more than bragging rights at the end of the day, but if it works for them then it will obviously translate into points they’d otherwise not have won.
They knew what their priorities were going into this, and moving out one non-scoring striker to bring in another might not seem like a great move, but Silva has gone right into their team whereas Lammers was not going to be a big game player for them at any time. It wouldn’t have taken much for him to be an upgrade.
On the left of the pitch they’ve signed a left back. We would never have signed that guy and I would have been very unhappy if we had, but they know what they have to do. They have two internationals in that position and they’re trying to move out at least one of them for a bit of money in this window and his replacement is very nearly in the door.
They’ve gone out and bought a midfielder. Did they need one of those? They have injuries and players out of contract in the summer, so this is the kind of advance planning Ange did in his first January window knowing Bitton and Rogic were going to go. I have no idea whether this guy is any good, and whilst I knew they weren’t spending £4 million on him in this window, with them being skint, they aren’t paying until the summer … that’s a massive gamble, but their club is at least willing to roll the dice and gamble, especially with what’s at stake.
So overall, so far, they’ve had a revenue neutral window which leaves them stronger at the top of the end of the park, in a sense, although the injury to Sima is a disaster. But they have enough depth up there to cover for that against the SPFL level sides.
It’s obvious what they are saving their money for; a proper move for Lawrence Shankland, which I now think is a certainty and one which Hearts won’t fight terribly hard. If they manage to do that they’ll have accomplished exactly what it was they set out to before the window opened, and that one thing above all, bringing in a guy who will score enough goals to get them past most teams in the SPFL, which is all we had to do at the same time.
And that’s the risk now. That’s the gamble. I’m not suggesting we should have gone out and signed Shankland, because I don’t think he’s the next-level player we need, but the facts are that Shankland will score goals in Glasgow for whichever side signs him and that those goals might be the difference between winning this title and that big pot of money and not.
Our own board’s remit is to arm us as well as it can for that fight. It has not.
It failed in the summer and so far it has manifestly failed this month. The excuses are all a bunch of bullshit. They’ve had months to plan this and get it right and they are now trying to blow smoke to cover for a massive strategic failure.
If we’re putting all our chips on Kyogo’s goals to see us through this title race we’re taking a huge and unpardonable gamble.
If that shoulder of his goes we won’t see him again this season and if that happens as Shankland is banging in goals across the city, we’re in big trouble
If they sign him and we fail to bring a forward in, they will have emerged from the window obviously strengthened in the one area where we currently need a player most.
And those who say January is a hard time to bring in players are going to look like absolute fools when across town they’ve brought in an EPL striker, a promising midfielder and the top scorer in the SPFL at the same time as we’ve dragged our feet.
If that’s the outcome, this title race will go to the wire.
It is so, so unnecessary and so, so stupid. It is a damning indictment on the “head of recruitment” and those who gave him the gig. It is an unforgivable disgrace and I just pray that we are not all paying the highest possible price for it when the season ends.