Who'll be in Neil Lennon's clear out?

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Neil Lennon Celtic newsI realise there’s still almost two months of the transfer window left but seeing as the season and in turn actually starts in little over a fortnight, I’m looking at our signing policy.

At present we have confirmed the signings of Kelvin Wilson (25), Adam Matthews (19) and Victor Wanyama (20) – two free transfers and one estimated at around £900,000.

Obviously, the performances of Emilio Izaguirre and Biram Kayal last season has shown us that there are gems out there to be found but are the new bhoys being signed as starters or as squad players for the future?

My feeling is that Wilson will probably be seen as a first choice centre half. As for the other two, Matthews faces the task of displacing Mark Wilson whose stock rose immensely last season and Wanyama will try to get into the area of the team where we are strongest.

A goalkeeper and a centre forward are seen as crucial signings by the majority of the support but given the increasing size of Celtic’s squad surely exits are necessary in order to provide funds for the right quality of player to be bought.

As I understand it, and I may be wrong here, only Fraser Forster and Paul McGowan have officially left the club from last year’s squad. Oh aye, and Freddie Ljungberg- remember him?

But who should go and how much could we expect to recoup for them? Everyone has their opinion on this and I don’t rate mine as any higher than anyone else’s but I think we could sell an entire team and with a few decent replacements it won’t effect the squad too much.

Assuming the following is our strongest eleven at present:

Zaluska:M Wilson, K Wilson, Mulgrew, Izzy: Brown, Kayal, Ledley, Commons: Hooper, Stokes

Here is an entire team that could feasibly be sold:

Cervi:Cha, Loovens, Hooiveld, O’Dea: McGinn, Juarez, Maloney:

Murphy, Rasmussen, Samaras

We also have players like Matthews, Wanyama, Ki Sung Yeung, Dan Majstorovic, Paddy McCourt, Thomas Rogne, James Forrest and Richie Towell, among others, to be considered. I’d be interested to see what Celtic ‘team’ you’d sell on. Leave a comment and let us know.

I’m not suggesting there aren’t some good players in the team I’d let leave and for some it’s a mystery as to why it didn’t work out but the reality is we currently have around thirty first team players. That is surely too many.

I realise we want to get away from the constant turnover of players but I’d like to see us settle on more quality rather than quantity. Quality players will cost money but with some sensible dealings we can use our currently bloated squad to generate a decent amount of money.

You see, I think there is a danger of complacency yet again. We look at Rangers and laugh at their situation but how much has it really changed since this time last year? They have pretty much retained their (league winning) squad – that hurt!! Allan McGregor and Steven Whittaker have just signed Jim McLean type contracts and, before we all guffaw and dismiss them as average players, let’s remember the pain of the last three seasons.

OK, so The Myth has gone and Ally McCoist is in charge but to dismiss his credentials is to fall right into the media trap. He has been there for a while, knows what is needed and has just as much passion for them as Lenny has for us. He has many contacts down south from his media days and I expect a few decent loan signings. The rumour is that Harry Redknapp will be sending a few Spurs players up.

My point is that while I have confidence that our manager and scouts have picked up some good players in Wilson, Matthews and Wanyama, I believe it is essential we trim the squad and use transfer fees and freed up wages to get in some established names as well as the players for the future. Making a profit on players is all well and good but, as Lennon himself has stated, the league must be won this year.

Your thoughts, please.

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  • Davy Clark says:

    Obviously we can’t punt them all, but the monies gathered in fees and wages savings would let us possibly look a bit upmarket but even half decent players are going for a fortune nowadays and we can’t aim that high at the moment, so need to rely on Lenny unearthing another couple of winners on his travels.

  • fozza says:

    I would sell Cha, Hooiveld, Loovens, O’Dea, McGinn, Juarez, Towell, Samaras, Murphy, Rasmussen.

    Think Cervi is happy to stay 3rd choice for at least another year.

    I also doubt Lenny will sell Maloney. He made him captain earlier in the season and he seems to be one of his golden bhoys.

    A GK, and 2 strikers are essential in my opinion. Not much quality outside hooper and stokes.

  • Michael says:

    I agree we need to rid ourselves of some players. Until we get a goalkeeper we can’t let Zaluska or Cervi go.

    In my opinion I see big Dan and Wilson at CH with Rogne and Charlie as back up with Mulgrew also as back up for LB and LWB. Matthews will find it hard to displace Mark Wilson if he continues in the same vein of form he showed last season which leaves Cha surplus to requirements for me. Same with O’Dea.

    In midfield I can’t see a place or a back up role for McGinn, Maloney, Juarez or sorry but Paddy!! Up front we have to lose at least two from Murphy, Sammy and big Morten. That would leave Hoops, Stokesy and one other from the afore mentioned three with another striker coming in.

    Freeing up the wages and hopefully recouping some transfer fees would hopefully see us getting possibly Bothroyd or Bellamy. I see us linked with Aldo de Nigris as well who would score barrow loads in the SPL. HH BarneyBhoy.

  • paranoidandroid says:

    I think our signing policy is rubbish, and I dont see any signs of it improving.

    The board have got one eye on Ibrox again, waiting to see how much money they spend. The same idiotic policy we’ve had for the last four or five years: let the opposition decide how and when we strenghten our team.

    It’s a recipe for disaster as we’ve seen for the last three years.

    Over these three years, the clubs lost £36m and we’ve had to put up with the embarrassment of being conned by WS in the transfer market and laughed at by second rate R******s players on the pitch.

    I’d like to know for whose benefit DD and his merry men are running the club this way. It’s certainly not for benefit of the team or the supporters.
    When you look at the type of people on the board, and some of the things they get up to, e.g. giving money to the Conservative and Unionist party, I would actually question whether they care if Celtic ever win the league again or not.
    They all claim to be life-long Celtic supporters, but they dont really act like it.

    • ABhoysVoice says:

      …EH…Up until LAST summer, I would have agreed with you. But in 2010, Lenny went out and, to say he “revamped” the squad is as understatement. And the board backed him.

      We brought in 11 players, 9 of which were regulars for large chunks of the season. In January again, we brought in Commons and (Ok…) Jlungberg. …so that’s at least 12 1st team regualars.

      Now, I’m not one to rest on my laurels, so we need to keep the pressure on the board to maintain the backing of Lenny’s decisions.

      For the first season in years,… I have being relatively happy with the board’s signing measures, (I know we have to find gems, and untapped resources, as we REALLY can’t compete with the about-to-burst bubble of the EPL’s spending capabilities down south), but I think they’ve done well.

      Even in backing Lenny in his defense against refereeing injustices, and voicing their concerns to a MUCH greater, and more public volume about the biased agenda against Celtic last season. …But that’s another story!!

      • ABhoysVoice says:

        ….^^^ Above comment referring to paranoidAndroid’s comment…about the board’s backing of team recruitment…not referring to android’s view on who “else” the board are “giving money to”. 🙂

        • jebus says:

          Wouldn’t technically say the board backed Lennon, with all the ins and outs Celtic made 4m (roughly) last year so they didn’t really back him that much they made money.

          Oh and yet again fecked up the league. Lennon needs to be given about 10m to spend this year regardles of player sales or im sorry but I will still have the opinion the board dont care.

  • greenjedi says:

    The following 11 IMO should go if we get any half decent offer, just to free the wages and give a bit of working capitol.

    Cervi, Cha, Loovens, Hooiveld, O’Dea, McGinn, Maloney, Murphy, Rasmussen, Samaras & Towell.

  • Supermo says:

    If Charlie Mulgrew is in our First XI as you suggest then our squad is still too shallow. We need to get rid of a lot of suad players and invest in quality.

    One more strong centre half and two new strikers as we dispense with Rasmussen, Samaras, Murphy, Loovens, Hooiveld et al.

    We are still recovering from Mowbray’s ill conceived appointment and disastrous period in management.

    • chiefinkorea says:

      Your comment about Mulgrew is exactly the point I was trying to make – you made it better!!

      We have Big Dan, Loovens, Hooiveld, Wilson, Rogne, O’Dea and Mulgrew, who was signed as a left back, on the books as centre halves but none of the 7 have truly convinced us. Also, is Josh Thompson still with us?

      In fairness to Lenny he inherited most of them, but now is time to get rid of the deadwood/passengers. These players take up part of the budget that Lenny could use to attract better players.

  • bhoylondon67 says:

    Big Dan is in the 1st 11 before Mulgrew, still think we need another centre back to challenge Wilson and Big Dan for their place.

  • USMCBhoy says:

    We have a strong squad of players, with internationals not getting seats on the bench as subs. Decisions must be made about who can go, my list as I see it:

    Defense: Hooiveld (1 mil), O’Dea (500,000), Juarez(2 mil +), Cha (500,000) all internationals. Toshney and Thompson, young and will get better and on minimum wage, loan. Lenny rates Loovens so he is going nowhere.

    Midfield: McGinn(1 mil), Maloney(medical fees +), Carey and Towell should go out on loan.

    Forwards: Murphy (1 mil..dreaming), Rasmussen (1 mil, we will lose money), Lenny rates Samaras and he is going nowhere.

    So we have approximately 32 first team members, I have identified 8 to leave with 8 million being recouped. Also 4 players for the future going out on loan.

    If we can get what I perceive to be fair for the internationals leaving, even minus a million or 2 and we have 6 million to spend. We have spent roughly 900,000 on one for the future leaving 5 million in the bank roughly.

    Wages have been cut drastically due to Lookengone and Hinkel leaving.

    I believe we have the money to spend in the transfer market and enough wages for 2 or 3 quality signings. Goalie and CF being my preferred positions. HAIL HAIL

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