As we approach the mid-way point in the January transfer window, Celtic have completed their first key signing. Polish striker Patryk Klimala has signed a four-and-a-half year deal in Glasgow following his move from Ekstraklasa side Jagiellonia Białystok.
At 21 years old, he may be seen by some in the Celtic support as a work in progress. However, it is worth mentioning that Klimala has started this season in good form back in his homeland.
He has produced 7 goals and 2 assists from 12 starts in the league. The other 5 league appearances were from the bench where he provided 1 assist and also played a brief part in a Polish Cup match.
So far he has only missed three games in the current season over all. With rare and short sightings of Leigh Griffiths and Vakoun Bayo, Klimala could be playing sooner than you think.
By all accounts he is ready to play. So as his hoodie suggests it very well could be a case of Let’s Get Rocking.
I can understand why some fans might be a bit lukewarm about this signing. Celtic have purchased many young players in recent years who never quite made the grade.
Some of those barely saw any first team action. Instead they were farmed out on loan, never managed to hold down a first team place or simply didn’t make the first team at all.
Neil Lennon’s first stint as Celtic manager saw players such as Bangura, Rabiu, Kapo, Blackman, Nouioui, Gershon, Mouyokolo, Fridjonson, Amido Balde and Pukki all fail to live up to expectations. On the other hand, he also had some good signings in Mulgrew, Ledley, Izaguirre, Forster, Kayal, Hooper, Juarez, Wilson, Matthews, Lustig, Wanyama, Bitton, Rogic and van Djik.
You can’t expect all of your signings to turn out to be what you wanted, but I think many Celtic fans would like to see our most recent young signings turn in to first team players, if this is to be our market, rather than being surplus to requirements after years of zero game time. I’d like to think that this time around Lennon has better back room staff to facilitate that.
Whether it is is the coaching staff, recruitment team or just the board or directors, I have more faith with the set-up we have behind the scenes. The transfer market is a difficult place for a club like Celtic, but so far I think we’ve done not too badly since the summer.
Given the striker situation at the club right now, I don’t think we’ll have to wait to long to see our new Bhoy. He will be eager to maintain the form he left Poland with.
We don’t know what sort of player Klimala is, but if we are judge him before he’s kicked a ball for us then it isn’t exactly giving the guy a fair chance to prove himself. He will need time to adjust and bed in as all players do, but I am confident he can play now.
Odsonne Edouard remains Celtic’s number one striker, but with back up being thin on the ground this season, I fancy Klimala will be in the first team sooner than many think. I don’t think he is a work in progress at all.
We are building for the future and some of those guys, such as Jeremie Frimpong, are already getting their chance now. Personally, I don’t think Klimala falls into that category, but let’s see what the coming weeks and months bring.
I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing what he’s got to offer. It’s good to know that in the event Eddy gets a knock we can call upon someone who has been in good form this season albeit in a different league.
The other thing fans may be thinking is what does this mean for Griffiths and Bayo? Game time has been limited for both players with neither really challenging our current number one striker.
When you consider there are now four strikers on the books, five if you count the yet-to-appear Jonathan Afolabi, something has to give. Be it on loan or a permanent move away, there is a chance one player may head out if not now then at the end of the season.
It has been suggested in the media that Bayo is interested or has requested in a loan move. There’s also been reaction to Griffiths’ social media activity, suggesting that he is unhappy with our most recent signing.
He posted a GIF of himself putting his fingers in his ears on Twitter only to then deactivate his account. However, the same post can be seen on his Instagram account even now.
There might be something in it, there might be nothing in it. The club have looked after Leigh during his off the field matters but we have yet to see him recapture the form which proved people like myself wrong, when Neil Lennon first signed him back in 2014.
We’re all keen to see him back playing the football we know him best for. I’d love to see him back in contention and banging in the goals.
In the meantime, I am sure Klimala will add to our fire power. That is the important thing for the club right now.
Lewis Morgan‘s move to the MLS appears to be nearing completion. His departure is amongst the kind I was to referring to earlier.
As a fringe player rarely getting game time, this was a good move for him and the club. With squad trimming on Neil Lennon’s mind, it will be interesting to see if any others will follow.
Eboue Kouassi looked to be a viable midfield option for the future, but injury has been his enemy for the most part. So far this season he has yet to even see any game time.
Jack Hendry doesn’t appear to be any closer to first team action or an exit. The transfer window opened with rumours that he could head out on loan, but since then it has gone a bit quiet on the player who has played just 11 minutes of first team football this season.
Marian Shved signed a year ago, but went back on loan to his old club for the remainder of that season. When he finally arrived in the summer, I expected to see him challenging James Forrest, but has played a total of 35 minutes in two outings, though he did manage one goal in that time.
Whilst very unlikely to be going anywhere, Greg Taylor has not been given a run in the Celtic side. Much was made about his signature following Kieran Tierney’s departure but has only made five appearances in the Hoops.
I think we’d all agree that he has looked the part from what we have seen. Hopefully we will see more of him as the season progresses.
As for now, we will have to see what the second half of January produces for Celtic. The Bhoys are back in action this Saturday against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup in a rare evening kick off
The break in Dubai will hopefully see the team come back refreshed and ready to go. Every game is a cup final from this point on.