Summer Transfer Window: Inactivity or Patience?
Updated: Jul 15, 2018
With Champions League Qualifiers getting underway, is Celtic's usual patience in the transfer market a risk?
It's early July. And despite the fact we've had the World Cup to keep us entertained all summer, it seems like we've gone a lifetime without Celtic.
7 weeks on from securing a historic double treble, pre-season is well underway and we are all, rather predictably, frantically searching for transfer news.
While the rumours about potential exits rumble on - don't go Kieran 🙏🏻 - it's the incomings, or lack thereof that always divide the Celtic support at this time of the year.
Having lost Stuart Armstrong to Southampton and Patrick Roberts, who returned to Manchester City, Brendan Rodgers has already stated his intent to add to the squad on order to replace players who he admits were vital parts of the squad.
However, the area of the squad that we all seem to be crying out for reinforcements in is defence. It's the bi-annual outcry of the Celtic support, even though two of our regular back four made the latter stages of the World Cup.
Holding a 0-3 lead over Alashkert, with a potential meeting with Rosenborg on the horizon, it is the right back area that appears most concerning. Mikel Lustig will not be available for a few weeks yet given Sweden's World Cup exploits and his form last season means strengthening in that position is vital.
Jack Hendry deputised at right back on numerous occasions in the second half of last season but his performances, and the results when he played there, are a cause for concern should he provide temporary cover for Lustig.
It's unfair to judge Hendry on his performances at right back because it's not his natural position, but I don't think he has the right qualities to play as a full-back in Brendan Rodgers' side.
Anthony Ralston is the other option we have in that area. Returning from his emergency loan spell at Dundee Utd, Ralston will be hoping to work his way into Brendan's thoughts ahead of the qualifiers. We can see in the starting XI's from the two most recent friendlies that it looks like Hendry is the preferred option.
I'm not convinced Ralston is good enough to become Celtic's long term first choice at right back, but if he has anything over Hendry it's that right back is his trade so to speak despite his inexperience.
The manager has already stated that he wishes we were further down the line with bringing in new additions but reiterates the importance of tying down key players as well:
"I’d always have liked to have more in by now but the most important thing was ensuring we kept the players we wanted to stay. The likes of Tom Rogic and these guys. Absolutely for sure we need to strengthen, and that will come."
Despite having broken our transfer record to secure Odsonne Edouard on a permanent deal - who looks to be striking up a frightening with Moussa Dembele - it might be in defence that Celtic's Champions League qualification hangs.