“WE HAVE strengthened the squad in all areas of the pitch with international-level talent."

Those were the words of Celtic chief executive Dominic McKay on Wednesday in summation of the club's summer transfer business.

Celtic have certainly been active this window - in both arrivals and departures - while new manager Ange Postecoglou gets to work instilling his particular brand of attacking philosophy in the players.

But has that activity strengthened the squad at Postecoglou's disposal, as the club's CEO says?

Here, The Celtic Way looks at the ins and outs at Parkhead this summer, assesses whether they constitute adequate backing for Postecoglou and where the club still needs to look at going forward.

Ins and outs 

Arrivals - Transfers in: Kyogo Furuhashi (Vissel Kobe); Carl Starfelt (Rubin Kazan); Liel Abada (Maccabi Petah Tikva); Josip Juranovic (Legia Warsaw); Giorgos Giakoumakis (VVV-Venlo); Joe Hart (Tottenham); Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers); Osaze Urhoghide (Sheffield Wednesday); Liam Shaw (Sheffield Wednesday); James McCarthy (Crystal Palace). Loans in: Jota (Benfica); Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham).

After a desperately poor campaign last time out, Celtic recruited 12 players this summer as McKay and Postecoglou attempted to pick up the pieces.

Between the sticks, goalkeeper Joe Hart arrived from Tottenham Hotspur after the error-strewn woes of Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain continued.

Defensively, Croatia international right-back Josip Juranovic was drafted in from Legia Warsaw while centre-back Carl Starfelt swapped the red of Rubin Kazan for green and white in a reported £4million-plus deal and Cameron Carter-Vickers jumped on board just before the deadline in a loan move from Spurs. In addition, versatile defender Liam Scales arrived from Shamrock Rovers and Osaze Urhoghide came in from Sheffield Wednesday.

In midfield, James McCarthy put an end to well over a decade of seemingly perennial transfer links by signing a four-year deal at Parkhead while Liam Shaw joined his former Owls team-mate Urhoghide in taking flight for Glasgow.

Further forward there is a quartet of new faces with Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada joined by deadline-day signings Giorgos Giakoumakis and Jota.

Departures - Transfers out: Scott Brown (Aberdeen); Kristoffer Ajer (Brentford); Odsonne Edouard (Crystal Palace); Ryan Christie (Bournemouth); Vakoun Issouf Bayo (Gent); Jack Hendry (Oostende); Maryan Shved (Mechelen); Olivier Ntcham (end of contract). Loans out: Leigh Griffiths (Dundee); Scott Robertson (Crewe Alexandra); Ross Doohan (Tranmere); Lee O'Connor (Tranmere); Jonathan Afolabi (Ayr United).

In terms of exits, this summer virtually completed the break-up of Celtic's famous Invincibles.

While captain Callum McGregor and long-serving winger James Forrest appear to be here for good, the departure list included key players like former skipper Scott Brown, three-time top scorer Odsonne Edouard, defender Kristoffer Ajer and midfielder Ryan Christie.

Olivier Ntcham - equal parts talented and divisive until the last - also left after the expiry of his contract while Leigh Griffiths shuffled up north to Dundee on loan and younger players such as Jonathan Afolabi (Ayr) and Scott Robertson (Crewe) departed in the same manner.

Has Ange Postecoglou been backed?

This summer could very well go down as not only 'the one when Ange arrived' but also 'the one when Celtic got Kyogo'. 

The Japan international has seriously impressed since making his full debut against FK Jablonec and almost typifies what Postecoglou is looking for in a forward. Intelligent, persistent and talented, Kyogo has already positioned himself to play a lead role in the story of Celtic's season.

Abada's start to life at Parkhead has gone down well while the recruitment of Hart was - and to some extent still is - viewed as a risk but so far he has made some timely saves and embraced his role as a senior player at a big club with aplomb.

Elsewhere, £4million-plus defender Starfelt has invariably been described as "shaky" while it's also worth pointing out that the signing of Juranovic was a particularly long time in coming.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou faces Celtic full-back puzzle after Josip Juranovic debut - James Dailey

Not because of the player himself, of course, but the fact both first-team right-backs - Jeremie Frimpong and Hatem Abd Elhamed - had been sold some seven months previous. That Anthony Ralston has exceeded everyone's expectations in the past month or so papered over that particular crack in the club's activities.

So do these deals constitute adequate backing for the manager? Because that's really what you're asking when it comes to evaluating this summer's business.

On the face of it, the answer would be yes. Twelve new recruits cannot be sniffed at, after all.

But it's about more than numbers. Postecoglou - himself a new recruit - brings with him a style and a philosophy that renders just adding bodies an erroneous exercise. They have to be ready to play, to contribute to the overarching system.

In that respect, Postecoglou has shown age is no barrier to game-time. Abada is just 19 and has been starting since his arrival. Conversely, the likes of Shaw and Urhoghide are nowhere to be seen yet. 

Then there's the issue of timing. For what seems like the umpteenth time, Celtic's business was dragged out across the whole summer for deals you can't help but feel they could have sewn up a lot sooner.

And depth. That sometimes elusive quality successful teams always seem to possess. For all the business Celtic have concluded this summer - and credit where it's due, they have concluded a lot of business this summer - this is a squad still clearly lacking options.

A few weeks ago I put together a squad depth chart (reproduced below).

Celtic Way:

The yellow names were those I deemed unlikely to be contributing many first-team minutes this season barring serious injury issues while the red ones were those heavily reported to be leaving.

Now the deadline has passed, this is the revised version:

Celtic Way:


This time the red names denote longer-term injuries but, regardless, there's not really much difference there between the two charts.

That must be a worry for Postecoglou, who spent most of his first couple of months reiterating that the squad was relying on a small core of players. 

Picking up a couple of knocks has already posed a danger due to the lack of viable alternatives, so this isn't a new problem.

Just look at the Glasgow derby: only Greg Taylor and Forrest out, 1-0 down, desperately seeking a goal and Tom Rogic was the solitary notable game-changing option Postecoglou seemed to be able to rely on.

That Ismaila Soro - a defensive midfielder - and Adam Montgomery - a talent, sure, but still an unknown quantity - both took to the field when striker Albian Ajeti remained on the bench unused is a microcosm of the 'numbers do not equal depth' argument.

For a high-intensity style such as Postecoglou's, depth will be key to sustaining their relentless nature of play throughout what could be a 60-game season. Cetic do not, on the face of it, possess that yet.

What is required in January? 

Now comes the rationalising; the revamp required was never going to be completed in just one window.

In this respect - that is, viewing this summer as step one on a longer road to recovery - you can just about accept the continuing depth issue. As long, of course, as it is addressed in step two: the January window.

Midfield is particularly lacking in depth of quality after the departure of Ryan Christie while the cost of an injury to McGregor seems like it would be particularly expensive in both influence and style of play with him thriving as the single pivot.

While not a like-for-like with the captain, seeing talent such as St Johnstone standout Ali McCann picked up for a bargain £1million suggests more quality could have been found for a favourable fee close to home.

The wings could do with reinforcements too. Forrest has been playing well but has shown himself susceptible to picking up game-missing knocks while Mikey Johnston's fitness is perpetually in doubt.

Jota is a potential high-quality talent if Postecoglou can unlock the ability within while Kyogo can also play wide but - as noted from the Glasgow derby - prefers to play through the middle and has performed at his most effective there so far.

READ MORE: Celtic not quite ready to dismantle their recent Rangers psychological barrier... yet - Sean Martin

Relying on Abada week in, week out in a 60-game campaign is risky if only due to the unreliability of youth and, although Postecoglou clearly fancied Karamoko Dembele in pre-season, the same would surely apply to him when fit.

Where to find these reinforcements in a traditionally volatile mid-season market? Don't be surprised to see Postecoglou turn to his past for answers.

“I know the Japanese market very well but it’s also a tricky time because they’re still mid-season," as Postecoglou said last month.

"There’s a lot of players I’d love to have a look at closely and bring over, but I know it’ll be almost impossible to get them out.

“Clubs are still playing for the league, cup and Champions League so they’re very reluctant to let them go.

“Traditionally it’s always been easier to get them out during our winter break which is the end of their season.

“It’s a market I know well and there’s a lot of talent there people still haven’t realised."

How best to sum this all up, then? Postecoglou has been backed with numbers, but not quickly enough. He has also been backed with a decent amount of funding, but whether that money has been spent on the correct type of players remains to be seen.

Make no mistake, this rebuild must continue.