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Celtic complete their first summer signing: What follows for Brendan Rodgers?

Wednesday 21st June 2017
Celtic FC, with Brendan Rodgers holding the reins of the club, had a memorable domestic season. The former Liverpool boss had an unbeaten run and led the Hoops to victory in a domestic treble (winning Scottish Premiership, Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup).

Celtic, however, were not as successful in the Champions League as they were sent back home from the group stages, failing to triumph in a single game over Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach. Although, they had the bad luck to be a part of Champions League's ‘Group of Death', the Hoops, nevertheless, are not worthy to be counted among the European hotshots.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is fully determined to retain most of prized squad members despite garnered interest from top European clubs. He aims to build a team that would serve well in the future surrounding the likes of Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele, Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic and has thus far wade off any form of approach for his pack of talent.

Celtic might not be as well-known as their strong rivals Rangers FC in the transfer market so far; however, they just completed their first signing of the summer, Jonny Hayes, in a deal worth £1 million from Scottish rivals Aberdeen. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international is was signed mainly to take up the former position of Patrick Robert, who enjoyed a career changing loan spell from Manchester City. Hayes has an in depth experience of Scottish football as vast as his knowledge of European football, finding the net 11 times and in 42 games across all competitions during the 2016-17 term. Hayes, a natural right-midfielder, can also be deployed to both sides of the wings and is to fit into Roberts' position in the right-hand flank, providing strong competition for Scottish international James Forrest, who has risen through the youth ranks of Celtic Football club.

However, Rodgers need to divert a bit of his attention to some certain areas as well as he needs more reinforcement to improve his squad play ahead of the forthcoming UEFA Champions League competition. He has reportedly been keeping track of French second-tier outfit RC Lens' 19-year-old centre-back Jean-Kevin Duverne, who is a transfer target for many Premier League clubs. They have reportedly made an offer worth £4.8 million for the French youngster who is expected to come into his full potential under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, holding a promise of a long-term excellence for the Hoops.

Also, both their goalkeepers (Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries) are in their mid-thirties and Brendan must find a lasting solution by bringing in a spirited young shotstopper. But that seems highly unlikely as Gordon just recently penned a three-year extension to his existing contract with the club. 20-year-old left back Kieran Tiernay is now one of the most sought-after players in Europe and Brendan might have difficulty holding on to him in the long run. Fans' favourite Emilio Izaguire, will be maintaining his position as a backup for at least another season, but the Irish tactician must stay alert and use his influence in the Premier League to sign one experienced full-back who has enough strength to play a for few more seasons.

 
Adebayo Temitope

Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, before I joined IRIAW you may have seen my work on The Football Weeks. I'm also a keen music fan


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