On Friday night Moussa Dembele became a Lyon player. The young French striker worked the angles tp orchestrate a moved back to his homeland.
It wasn’t a seamless departure. Sadly, it was a disruptive one.
Like so many things for Celtic this summer, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. The suddenness of the move made it just that.
The benefit is that now he has gone we can move on. It wasna brief disruption and we don’t look back.
I doubt many would have begrudged Moussa the opportunity to leave. He had served the club well albeit with several injuries.
That is not to say that he may not have stayed longer. Particualry if Celtic had made the Champions League.
For his age and the price paid to acquire his services, Celtic have done pretty well out if it. £20M is not to be sniffed at.
What overshadows everything was the manner of said departure. Social media outbursts are not uncommon in the modern day, but he chose this as his tool of destruction.
Personally, I was disappointed that Moussa chose to go down that road. However, we don’t know what had gone on between the club and the player.
We’ve already had the Dedryck Boyata saga to contend with. As yet we don’t know how that one is going to end though he remains a Celtic player for now.
As Mark O’Rourke wrote over on the Celtic Blog yesterday, Brendan Rodgers has had some unpopular decisions to make. That is the measure of a man in charge and how you will be remembered.
Many of us assumed Boyata would never wear the Hoops again after all that was said and done. Brendan had other ideas though and all of the facts it would seem, because he gifted the player a second chance.
That brought a chorus of booing and a banner from the Green Brigade. With the transfer window shut we appear to have moved on from that story for now.
The case with Moussa was something else entirely. The Frenchman went a little further to get his move.
Comments on social media appeared to be directed toward Brendan, but this was all part of the plan to get his move. It was clear from the manager’s sentiments that he would not be granted a move without a suitable replacement.
And therein lay the problem. With the timing of the move coming so late, Celtic were in a hopeless position to organise another player.
When that became Celtic’s defence, that was when the petulance seemed to surface. Social media can be both your friend and your enemy and Moussa decided to go rogue.
He had the full Celtic support behind him up until that point. Even when we thought he might move, all was rosy in the garden.
Am I upset at his departure? No, I’m not.
He’s been a great player, but not irreplaceable. All those missed games through injury have meant we couldn’t always count on him.
His first season was undoubtedly his best. We gave him European football and a stage to display his talent.
Ever since then he’s been subject to constant speculation about a move away. The timing of his transfer has left Celtic with two strikers going into Europe and the domestic season until the winter break.
It’s not good news, but probably not as bad as holding onto a player who had thrown his toys out of the pram. That would have been disruptive to the challenges ahead.
So we move on with the current squad and welcome in our new players. Youssuf Mulumbu and Filip Benkovic joined the club on deadline day.
Mulumbu will provide experience and support to the midfield. Benkovic will assist with defensive duties whilst he settles into UK life.
Although the transfer window is shut, it doesn’t mean Celtic can stop acquiring players. Untied players can still move, but if the club were going to do anything it’s worth noting that the deadline for registering players in Europe is Monday 3rd September.
Do Celtic need anyone else? Well another striker would ease everyone’s worries for sure.
I can’t imagine there are many decent strikers out in the wilderness right now though. Certainly not of the quality we’re looking for.
Right now the focus turns to Sunday’s encounter at Celtic Park. Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard go up against each other for the first time.
The Ibrox club will fancy their chances in this match. Celtic need to stamp their authority in this one though.
Many think we’re a wounded animal right now. The truth is we haven’t even got started.
With the transfer window shut and the Europa League secured it’s time to focus on domestic duties. Anyone for a treble?