WITH the October international break upon him, Ange Postecoglou’s parting post-match words at Pittodrie on Sunday were telling.

“It’s no secret we still need to add to the squad,” he said. “We were never going to do it in one transfer window, especially when you look at the significant exits we had.

“It was always going to be a two- or three-window process, so we’re looking at January at the moment. We know the areas we need to bolster. It’s about getting more players that I believe can play the type of football we want to play. That’s what we’re trying to target. We will definitely be adding something to the squad.

“Japan is one of the markets we’ll be looking at. Obviously, I know it really well and they will get to the end of their season, which is a good time if there’s anyone who will fit into our setup. We will be looking everywhere. The last window was frantic, this time we want to be planning well in advance.

“We’ve identified targets and begun discussions before we get to January so that we can conclude deals a lot quicker than we did in the previous window.”

The first domestic away win of his tenure – and first in Scottish football since February – with two new signings making the difference in front of goal and yet here was the Celtic manager immediately putting the focus on the next phase of his rebuild. Rightly so.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou's challenge is keeping Celtic title charge on the rails before injury return - Alison McConnell

There are plenty of phrases that stand out. We were never going to do it in one window; We know the areas we need to bolster; Japan is one of the markets we’ll be looking at.

There are plenty of insinuations for those who want to see them, too. The last window was frantic, this time we want to be planning well in advance.

The one we will focus on today, however, is the following… It’s about getting more players that I believe can play the type of football we want to play.

The insinuation from that particular line is, of course, that there are players already at Parkhead who aren’t particularly suited to the type of football Postecoglou wants to play.

That’s been the crux of the matter for Celtic so far this season. The depth issues that have been discussed ad nauseam, and exposed so cruelly by the injuries to Callum McGregor and Kyogo Furuhashi, speaks less about the quantity of players (there are 32 players listed on the first-team squad page of the club website) and more about the quality.

With that in mind, The Celtic Way considers the positions Postecoglou could be referring to and the likelihood that the club will actually recruit players in those areas given what is already available.

Celtic Way:

1. Centre-back

Currently occupied by: Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt

Others to consider: Stephen Welsh, Christopher Jullien (injured), Liam Scales, Nir Bitton

The defence has been the source of much criticism so far this season. Individual errors and a continuing frailty when defending set-pieces have combined with late acquisitions to lend a sense of inconsistency not only in performance but in selection choices since Postecoglou took over.

Therein lies the problem with any talk of additional signings. Celtic spent upwards of £4million on Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan earlier in the summer as well as drafting in Cameron Carter-Vickers on a loan-to-buy deal from Tottenham on deadline day. Starfelt has been a virtual ever-present – missing one game, the defeat to Livingston – while Carter-Vickers has started every match since his arrival.

Together they have started six matches, winning three, losing two and drawing one while keeping two clean sheets. As a partnership they’ve conceded 10 goals in that spell – albeit eight of those came in the Europa League losses to Real Betis (4-3) and Bayer Leverkusen (4-0) rather than domestically.

READ MORE: Celtic consistency of selection key to solving Ange Postecoglou's central-defensive dilemma

That Christopher Jullien is due to come back from injury in the near future throws up an interesting question over which will be Postecoglou’s first-choice pairing but it also casts doubt on any more central defenders walking through the doors at Lennoxtown.

Stephen Welsh impressed in pre-season and during his early-season run-outs and so should be an able deputy to the main three centre-backs, while it is also Liam Scales’ primary position and Nir Bitton – until recently at least – was essentially considered a central defender too.

That’s between four and six centre-backs if you’re keeping count, with none all that likely to move on. This is not to say a well-equipped signing could not arrive and force his way into the team ahead of those already there – just that it feels unlikely the club will lay out more cash for this position after their summer recruitment drive.

Recruitment verdict: Unlikely

Celtic Way:

2. Central midfield

Currently occupied by: Callum McGregor, David Turnbull, Tom Rogic

Others to consider: James McCarthy, Ismaila Soro, Nir Bitton, Liam Shaw, Ewan Henderson

On the face of it, there are plenty of midfielders at the club… but the way they fit together is pretty unbalanced.

Callum McGregor will start, that much is a given. Whether that’s as the single pivot – where he has excelled – or slightly further forward as more of a number eight, the captain is the first name on the teamsheet and the side appeared decidedly more pedestrian during his recent absence.

David Turnbull, the shining light during the dark days of last season, has come under fire for a topsy-turvy start to life under Postecoglou but it seems he has been designated the manager’s main creative midfielder so far and it is likely to stay that way.

With Tom Rogic finding a new lease of life under his old national team manager, there are times when a Turnbull-Rogic creative axis will work to devastating effect. However, at European level especially, it leaves a lot to be desired as a long-term tactical option. Starting one of them would be the ideal scenario. Right now, though, there’s little alternative.

READ MORE: How do the performances of Celtic’s David Turnbull, Callum McGregor and Stephen Welsh compare to last season?

The jury remains out on James McCarthy’s suitability for the pass-and-move, ball-dominant style Postecoglou is looking to implement, while Ismaila Soro’s recent outings as an impact sub geared towards injecting some energy into the central areas is probably closer to how he will be utilised if the squad is in top shape.

Nir Bitton’s latest appearance was back in his natural midfield role and that could add a different dimension to proceedings going forward – figuratively and literally – as he is generally regarded as a better deep passer than both McCarthy and Soro.

What Celtic ultimately lack, however, is a box-to-box midfielder who possesses the blend of pressing persistence and technical quality like Ryan Christie did. The Scotland international’s departure was a blow for Postecoglou; he seemed ideally-suited to the manager’s style. Not having a similar type of player available has hurt the tactical options the Greek-Australian has to play with and will continue to do so in the long run until it is addressed.

Elsewhere, youth product Ewan Henderson and summer signing Liam Shaw are yet to make any sort of impact. Scott Robertson has been garnering plaudits down south but, for now, any talk of a Christie-esque coming-of-age loan spell still seems a tad premature.

Recruitment verdict: Extremely likely

Celtic Way:

3. Wing

The absence of James Forrest hit Celtic hard last term and, while Liel Abada and Jota have both hit the ground running since arriving in Glasgow, the same could be argued so far this season.

While still arguably getting up to speed after his lay-off, Forrest contributed two goals and three assists in seven games before going down again.

Both Jota and Abada are inexperienced and that comes with the caveat that consistency may be harder to come by so the ability to rotate them out as required could be as key to their development as consistent game-time.

Alternatives to the main three include shifting Kyogo out wide to give summer signing Giorgos Giakoumakis opportunities – the Japan international moved out left against Aberdeen after Albian Ajeti’s introduction, for instance – but this is not the ideal scenario given his impact in central areas so far this season.

READ MORE: James Forrest and Christopher Jullien return huge as Celtic look to drive on

Again it’s hard to shake the feeling that the versatility offered by Christie impacts the team here – the 26-year-old was used out left as well as central before his departure – while Karamoko Dembele’s untimely injury has kept him out of the reckoning after catching Postecoglou’s eye in pre-season.

“I think the way we play will suit him, the manager said of Dembele this summer. “He has been in and around the first-team squad for a little while now. I think he wants to break through and be a first-team player so I see no reason why anybody needs to protect him from that.”

Likewise, Mikey Johnston’s unreliability resurfaced after he recovered from one injury to play against Livingston only to succumb to another the next week.

Recruitment verdict: Hard to tell… but likely

Celtic Way:

4. Left-back

You could variously describe Celtic as having either one or five first-team left-backs on the books.

Greg Taylor had been the undisputed first-choice under Postecoglou up until his injury, with winger-turned-defender Adam Montgomery initially given the role as his deputy.

After Taylor’s shoulder problem ruled him out for the trip to face Rangers, the manager turned to newly-signed right-back Josip Juranovic instead of Montgomery and then brought Boli Bolingoli in from the cold for the ill-fated away day at Livingston last month.

Despite a decent display the Belgian hasn’t been seen since and Montgomery subsequently returned at left-back – most recently after Juranovic went down injured too – suggesting Taylor’s recovery will likely see him retake his starting spot.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou's problem isn't lack of Plan B but lack of depth to re-energise Plan A

Could Celtic do better than Taylor? Probably, but it’s difficult to envision that coming from any of the other players capable of playing in that position and it’s unlikely another left-back will be recruited unless at least one departs too.

In addition, there’s Liam Scales to consider. The centre-back’s only Celtic appearance to date has come on the left for the last half-hour of last month’s League Cup win over Raith Rovers.

While he performed ably on the night the relative comfort of the situation he was placed in – it was already 3-0 when he came on and Raith offered little to test the Irishman – does not offer much to suggest how ready he is to start.

Nevertheless, given there are at least four centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order already, playing on the left while Taylor remains out could be the 23-year-old’s best chance of finding an avenue into the team – if he is handed that chance to begin with.

Recruitment verdict: Unlikely