As this summer's hectic transfer window draws to a close, it's time to look back at an eventful reshuffling period for the green side of Glasgow. There was a great deal of action and I'd like to take a bit of everyone's time to examine it a bit further. So let's look at what business Big Ange has been up to in his first transfer window in charge of the best team in Glasgow.
I think it is important to notate that from the beginning, Ange was adamant about the mentality of his players: if they were not committed to the club, they would not be involved moving forward. Plain and simple. And I think that he has addressed a lot of potentially difficult situations with as much grace and efficiency as possible. Edouard, Christie, Griffiths, Ntcham, Ajer... all these were players that as reluctantly as we may want to admit, were not committed to Celtic. They saw their respective futures elsewhere. With Christie in particular, I think that many fans may be hurt by the suddenness of that 2.5mil move to Bournemouth. He could've been part of some history with Ange and crew in this transformation that is gripping Celtic Football Club at the moment. And if he truly wants to test himself in the Premier League, why move to a club in the Championship? Surely Celtic are bigger than Bournemouth? These feelings may be present, but it is important to consider the following: Christie and Celtic were at a standstill in contract negotiations. His contract had five months remaining on it, FIVE. Was going to be up in January. So with no progress being made on that front, and for fear of letting a player valued at 7.7mil leaving for free mid season, Celtic were forced to do the best business they could in accepting 2.5mil from Bournemouth. Smart, but sad business. Would've loved to have seen him stay, personally.
Which then leads into which reinforcements have been brought in to help us fight for all titles on offer. Ange and Board have brought in no less than 12(!) players and bhoy have some of them already been looking the real deal. Kyogo from Vissel Kobe has been on an absolute tear and with more time playing with this squad, I cannot see why he won't thrive. Watch this man. Joe Hart has finally locked down our number one spot between the sticks with some authority and although he doesn't quite conform to Celtic's transfer patterns, he seems to be a solid purchase thus far. Giakoumakis, although we haven't seen him feature yet, was the top goalscorer in the Dutch league last year and with Edouard now gone, him and Kyogo's goal presence will be very much needed. Starfelt has had a slow start to adapting to the backline, but I think he'll come good and surely cannot be worse than Duffy last season. The list goes on.
This new storm of troops to help us take on Scotland and Europe, as well as having a man from the outside in Postecoglou leading them with his no nonsense, all out attack approach, has brought a sense of hope. A sense that everything is possible and it's up to us to determine our own fate. Not to mention how well the Board seem to be backing Postecoglou in his ambitions to change Celtic the way he wants to is so so refreshing. Too often have we seen before where Celtic twiddle their thumbs over numbers and we end up losing out on our targets. Now, good feelings are everywhere in Celtic Park and to everyone else in Scotland I say watch out.
For an official tally of who came and out the door of the best club in Scotland, please refer to the following list...
IN In: Ange Postecoglou, manager (Yokohama F Marinos); Giorgos Giakoumakis, forward (VVV-Venlo, undisclosed); Josip Juranovic, defender (Legia Warsaw, undisclosed); Joe Hart, goalkeeper (Tottenham Hotspur, undisclosed); Carl Starfelt, defender (Rubin Kazan, undisclosed); Kyogo Furuhashi, forward (Vissel Kobe, undisclosed); Liel Abada, forward (Maccabi Petah Tikva, undisclosed); Bosun Lawal, defender (Watford, undisclosed); James McCarthy, midfielder (Crystal Palace); Osaze Urhoghide, defender (Sheffield Wednesday, undisclosed); Liam Shaw, midfielder (Sheffield Wednesday); Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers, undisclosed); Joey Dawson, forward (Scunthorpe United).
Loan in: Jota, midfielder (Benfica); Cameron Carter-Vickers, defender (Tottenham Hotspur). OUT
Out: Odsonne Edouard, forward (Crystal Palace, £14m); Kristoffer Ajer, defender (Brentford, undisclosed); Ryan Christie, midfielder (Bournemouth, undisclosed); Marian Shved, forward (Mechelen, loan to permanent, undisclosed); Vakoun Bayo, forward (Gent, undisclosed); Jack Hendry, defender (Oostende, loan to permanent, undisclosed); Scott Brown, midfielder (Aberdeen); Armstrong Oko-Flex, forward (West Ham United); Leo Hjelde, defender (Leeds United, undisclosed); Vincent Angelini, goalkeeper (Watford); Paul Kennedy, midfielder (Clyde); Olivier Ntcham, midfielder.
Loans ending: Diego Laxalt, defender (AC Milan); Shane Duffy, defender (Brighton & Hove Albion); Mohamed Elyounoussi, midfielder (Southampton); Jonjoe Kenny, defender (Everton).
Loan out: Leigh Griffiths, forward (Dundee); Jonathan Afolabi, forward (Ayr United); Ross Doohan, goalkeeper (Tranmere Rovers); Scott Robertson, midfielder (Crewe Alexandra); Lee O'Connor, defender (Tranmere Rovers).