Revolving door

In the three week period Scottish football has had it’s winter shut down, Celtic have been busy. Three new players have been drafted in and a new contract was signed by an existing player.

There has also been movement in the other direction taking the current total of loaned out players to nine. Erik Sviatchenko joined the list as he goes out to FC Midtjylland for the rest of the season.

Out of favour Nadir Ciftci has gone on loan to Motherwell and with any luck will turn permanent for all our sakes. Recent signing Lewis Morgan has been loaned back to St Mirren for the remainder for the season as the Buddies seek promotion to the top flight.

Celtic youngsters Joe Thomson and Regan Hendry have gone on loan to Queen of the South and Raith Rovers respectively. Summer signing Kundai Benyu has travelled south once more to team up with League One outfit Oldham Athletic where he has already made an impression on the fans.

Next to follow could be Liam Henderson. With his contract up this summer and first team chances dwindling, a possible switch to Bari could be on the cards after he went for a trial in Italy.

For the youngster, who I like a great deal, I hope this works out. It doesn’t look like he will be featuring in Brendan Rodgers’ plans.

So far, there have been no big moves in or out by Celtic. Sviatchenko’s loan to his previous club is understandable, but given his claim that he was told he could leave I thought a permanent deal would have been what he wanted more than that.

One player who probably won’t go anywhere this window is Stuart Armstrong. He underwent surgery in Germany on Monday for supposed ongoing hernia problem.

The midfielder’s contract talks stuttered last year before he signed a new deal. That equated to one more year on top of his current deal with possible improved terms, but this season Armstrong has been off the boil completely.

It could be said that this hernia might be the source of his poor form, but it certainly hasn’t stopped him being played by the manager. Like many of his other invincible team mates though, performances have not been as good as last seasons.

Many expected the extra year he got on his contract was so that Celtic could maintain some reasonable sell-on value in this transfer window or the next. Whilst I don’t necessarily disagree with that theory, I was more of the opinion that what he wanted, Celtic weren’t prepared to give based on one good season.

He may well have his sights set on a move south, but I was also thinking that if Celtic gave him the right deal he would stay for a bit longer. To get that he would have to have put in a better performance this season but that hasn’t transpired.

Either way, the deal was for both parties so who knows what the future holds for Armstrong. The same can be said for Moussa Dembele.

Constantly linked with a move south, he is still at the club with no offers made we are being told. Since his first seasons showing, he hasn’t been as involved with injury being one of the main reasons behind his absences.

We know his ability but this season opportunities have been limited. Interest is still said to be high, but if he did go now Celtic may be more likely to take less than the sums being suggested at the same time a year ago.

One piece of news I was pleased about was a new deal for Anthony Ralston. He’s already cut his teeth in the Celtic first team and looks solid in the right back berth.

Let’s hope that we will see more of him this year. He has the chance to make this role his own.

With two weeks still to go, I think there’ll be further movement in both directions. Then it’s back to work on Saturday with a home Scottish Cup tie against Brechin City (is Brechin a city?).

The break for this squad has been crucial. Every player looked leggy as 2017 wore on.

Although we’ve been hampered by injury it is clear that the players looked out of sorts. The unbeaten run was also a factor and thankfully we can put that one to bed.

2018 is a new year with new opportunities for this team. Looking forward to Saturday already.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

6 thoughts on “Revolving door

  1. 3 players signed one for the development squad, one back on loan ,one cannit play in europe,liam henderson away without getting a chance ,much better than the 4 month wonder armstrong or Mcgreggor,just talk about loans from epl clubs,no significant signings,not what the manager said,heard it all before ,take it the board ,have pulled the plug like they always do


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