Since confirmation was given that Kelvin Wilson was expected to complete his move home to Nottingham it’s been a large concern with a lot of Celtic supporters on Twitter that we have now sold our best players in each position – Wilson (Def) Wanyama (Mid) and Hooper (Att)
Although I would ask everyone to remain calm and continue to trust our scouting system to prevail and provide new good players to replace these I do hold some concern as to how we have worked this transfer window to date.
The main reason for my own concern is that the strategy we currently follow means that we will continue to seek young rough edged gems with a view of developing & smoothing them leading to profits in selling them on. This is a strategy used by many clubs in the past from Ajax, Porto and Lyon to name a few.
What I remember from especially Lyon is that whenever they had a team full of exciting young developing players, their chairman would always say year after year that they would only sell one of these ‘diamonds’ per year, Every player would get their opportunity however they couldn’t allow more than one ‘diamond’ to leave in the same football season.
I understand that with Hooper, we had a player eager to leave, within the last year on his contract and with Wilson, another player eager to leave for personal reason’s that the club have had to act in this way however I feel that this situation isn’t one which would’ve suddenly happened, it would have happened over the course of a few months and I feel the club could have been more prepared in bringing in suitable replacements.
Replacements I don’t mean players that will sit on the bench, replacements I mean in players coming in and staking a place in the first eleven automatically as if we want to continue the progress made last season, we need players who can hit the ground running and not as we currently see with Amido Balde.
I believe that it’s telling of a great football manager in how he goes and turns over a squad. Great managers recognize when a squad needs refreshed and there are only a few managers which i can think of which have this ability.
Even our own Martin O’Neill in my opinion wasn’t capable of successfully evolving a squad as when he arrived he had a good solid backbone of a side and included a few expensive players to add to this making a very successful side however when it came to turning the squad over with reduced funding, this then became difficult. If we look at his tenure’s at Aston Villa & Sunderland, again great starts then when funding was removed, this resulted in poorer performances & results.
The one manager I know that had that knack of knowing when was the right time for a change was Alex Ferguson. Time and time again Fergie would surprise everyone by making drastic changes such as selling Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy & David Beckham to name a few.
Fergie will make necessary changes and bring in younger, hungrier players looking to make an impact on a bigger scale however he wouldn’t have faced the task of selling 3 top influential players in the one season the way that Lenny faces this summer.
The task faced by Celtic of course is hugely different to Celtic in terms of finance and prestige (League & honours) however I do feel that should Lennon be successful in achieving similar success to last season, this will rank as his great achievement to date.
Hooper, Wanyama & Wilson were influential Celtic players who had a number of years involved with the club &the management team.
Bringing in new inexperienced players will be a big ask for them and the current side to reach the same levels of last season.