Our turn around in players this season

In my opinion our best signing in the Summer
In my opinion our best signing in the Summer, Virgil van Dijk, Centre Back, 21 years old from FC Groningen for £2.6 Million

During the summer we lost arguable 3 of our better players in Hooper, Wanyama and Wilson, I think the only position we came close to covering was Centre half. Virgin Van Dijk looks a snip at £2.6M and just got a call up to the Dutch nation squad, or there is heavy talk of it happening. We signed two players who were known to be injury prone in Steven Mouyokolo on a free, who is a decent player and Derk Boerrigter from Ajax for £2.2M, sadly we have seen very little of both players and it doesn’t look like we will for a while yet.

Nir Biton at £720,000 looks ok, but will he play against Ajax? I don’t think so, then there is £1.5M on Amido Balde, I am sorry, I see another Marc-Antoine Fortuné sadly.  Wilson was huge loss, Wanyama we know and Hooper we just never even got close to replacing. Pukki looks like a bargain at £2.2M but the chances he misses are too often and he is never where a Hooper would be when crosses come into the box, he needs a bit longer to get used to our style of play. Balde needs a season at least to get to grips with the Scottish game.

Sadly we didn’t replace well, I would rather we had kept hold of Tony Watt, he can score, but perhaps we dented his confidence? Only the kid will know it would be a crying shame if in 10 years we say “Remember that kid that scored the 2nd against Barcelona” I think there was more there.  Did we give Gershon and Lassad enough time? Should we have let go of McCourt and Rogne?

My opinion is I think we have a really good squad, but as we head into the Ajax game, here is how we shape up

Without:

Commons

Lustig

Matthews

Boerrigter

Mouyokolo

Brown

5 of these players probably would have started, perhaps all 6.

Ledley and Forrest are not fully fit, Izzy was ill.

During the summer here was all the deals we done minus a few loan deals for younger players going out. I think we came out stronger, a smaller squad but stronger, but the smallness of the squad looks like it will haunt us on Tuesday. I will do a pre-match game on Monday regarding the Ajax game; we still have several international players that will play, Ledley, Samaras, Kayal and others.

What are your thoughts on the squad, who we let go and who we brought in? Keep in mind it is perfectly normal for people to disagree with my opinion, because this is all this is, opinions. I would like to hear others on the state of squad. Are we better or worse than last season? I think our biggest mistake was not signing a natural goal scorer who is well known. Alfreð Finnbogason would have been the type. But all said and done, this is what we have, is it good enough? When fit I thin so

 Players in:

Teemu Pukki, Centre Forward, 23 years old, signed from FC Schalke 04 in a £2.2 Million deal

Nir Biton, Defensive Midfield, 21 years old from MS Ashdod for a fee of £720,000

Derk Boerrigter, Left Wing, 26 years old signed from Ajax for £2.2 Million

Steven Mouyokolo, Centre Back, 26 years old, free contract

Virgil van Dijk, Centre Back, 21 years old from FC Groningen for £2.6 Million

Amido Baldé, Centre forward, 22 years old from Vitória Guimarães SC for a fee of £1.5 Million

Total paid: £9.22 Million spent on bringing players in

Players out:

Tony watt on loan to Lierse SK – No Fee

Paddy McCourt to Barnsley FC for free

Kelvin Wilson, Centre Back, 27 years old sold to Nottingham Forest for £2.5 Million

Gary Hooper, Centre forward, 25 years old to Norwich City for £5.6 Million

Victor Wanyama, Defensive Midfield, 22 year old sold to Southampton FC for £12.75 Million

Thomas Rogne, Centre Back, 23 year old on a free to Wigan Athletic – No Fee

Daryl Murphy, Centre forward, 30 years old on a free to Ipswich Town – No Fee

Lassad Nouioui, Striker, 27 year old, released – No Fee

Miku, Centre Forward, 27 years old, went back to Getafe CF – Loan

Rami Gershon, Centre Back, 24 years old away back to Standard Liège – Loan

Total money brought in: £20.85 Million (Do we dare add 2 seasons of Champions League money) 😀

_68166183_amido_balde_sns
Amido Baldé, Centre forward, 22 years old from Vitória Guimarães SC for a fee of £1.5 Million
Teemu Pukki, Centre Forward, 23 years old, signed from FC Schalke 04 in a £2.2 Million deal
Teemu Pukki, Centre Forward, 23 years old, signed from FC Schalke 04 in a £2.2 Million deal
Nir Biton, Defensive Midfield, 21 years old from MS Ashdod for a fee of £720,000
Nir Biton, Defensive Midfield, 21 years old from MS Ashdod for a fee of £720,000
Steven Mouyokolo, Centre Back, 26 years old, free contract
Steven Mouyokolo, Centre Back, 26 years old, free contract
Derk Boerrigter, Left Wing, 26 years old signed from Ajax for £2.2 Million
Derk Boerrigter, Left Wing, 26 years old signed from Ajax for £2.2 Million

Comments

  1. The mystery for me is that Atajic can’t get a game. We are crying out for creativity and from what I’ve seen of that boy so far, he’s got that little bit of imagination we lack in our regular midfielders. Speaking of which, did you see Paddys’ goal yesterday? We didn’t get the best out of him, which is our loss.

    Bit early to judge the new players although with Boerrigter, lengthy spells on the treatment table was predictable. No doubting the guys skill but a complete waste of money. Ajax did well bumping him, they clearly knew the script.

    As for Pukki, Balde, Biton & Rogic, only time will tell. At least van Dijk looks the part.

    On Tuesday, I expect the team to be FF, Lustig, Ambrose, van D, Izzy, Forrest, Mulgrew, Kayal, Ledley, Samaras & Stokes.

    1. Good shout for a starting 11 mate!! I don’t think we can be stronger anyway…
      I am wondering if he will throw Biton in? He has played international football, he should be able to handle this. Rogic, can you see him breaking through? Balde, do think we wasted £1.5?

      Cheers for the comment
      HH

      1. Not sure about Balde. £1.5M seems a lot to pay for a “raw talent”. At his age he should be good enough to walk into the 1st team. I would rather we had taken a punt on Johnny Russell for 1/3rd of that.

        I don’t know what Biton brings to the squad that we don’t already have. Ledley, Kayal, Biton – what’s the difference? As for Rogic – yes, I do think he’ll break through. He’s a bit more forward thinking than the other midfielders we have but may have to wait till all Neils favourites are crocked before getting a chance.

        1. Yeah I think you are right, Balde doesn’t look too good, Rogic will have to wait till Lenny is forced to give him a run, then it’s up the lad to provide the goods. To think Efraín Juárez and Kayal were bought ahead of Wanyama (We spent a lot more on both) And Wanyama took his early chance to get into the side and stay in it (Although he was signed a year after Kayal, Juárez and Ledley, With Brown there. I don’t think Wanyama was bought to be that good that soon..
          Looking back at this link here, Kayal, Juárez and Ledley, all international players signed. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/8849942.stm

          HH

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