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Celtic are gearing up for what looks to be a very busy final week of the summer transfer window.

With Honduras international winger Luis Palma poised for a move to the club following successful negotiations with Greek Super League side Aris Thessaloniki, the 23-year-old could be the first of a reported FIVE new recruits to come to the club over the next few days. This volume of incoming reinforcements is unfortunately needed, thanks to a lack of both numbers at the back due to injury, and matchwinners in the midfield and forward areas.

With that being said, here are the four other positional areas that need to be addressed, as Brendan Rodgers’ side looks to strengthen immediately ahead of tough tests both domestically and on the European front.

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Despite displaying his shot-stopping ability against St Johnstone at the weekend, Joe Hart is far too comfortable in his position as the first-choice goalkeeper at Celtic. The past few performances of the former England keeper have been near enough one of the only positives to come from 180 drab minutes of football, yet you know that this upturn is only temporary.

However, with Scott Bain happy to make up the numbers and Benjamin Siegrist seemingly AWOL from first-team proceedings, Hart must be challenged by a goalkeeper who will push him for the starting spot at the club. Apart from Dominik Livakovic – now at Fenerbahce - Celtic have not been linked with any goalkeepers of note this summer. Indeed, the Croatia international stalwart would have solved a lot of problems for the club, both in saves and in long and short distributions of the ball to outfield players.

Allowing Hart to be unopposed heading into the Champions League would be a dereliction of duty from the recruitment team, with his mistake against RB Leipzig an indication of his level when playing out from the back in European competition. Celtic have signed ‘project’ players all over the park, yet it looks like they will continue to field a 36-year-old in between the sticks. Time will tell if they take matters in Europe seriously or not, with Hart not of the required standard to deputise in the Champions League.

Central defender

Unfortunately, needs must, with regard to this position. With Cameron Carter-Vickers, new signing Maik Nawrocki and squad player Stephen Welsh all ruled out for the next two months due to injury, recent arrival Gustaf Lagerbielke remains Celtic’s only first-choice central defender presently at the club. Saturday highlighted that Liam Scales – though a hard worker – is not good enough to accompany him in the heart of the defence. Yuki Kobayashi – despite also being sidelined due to injury – has not shown enough to be able to step into that role when he returns to full fitness after the international break.

Therefore, a solution must be found, whether that be short-term or otherwise. With Celtic extremely likely to be a Pot 4 side in the Champions League group stages, the likelihood of coming up against three sides far better than themselves is extremely likely. The club have taken out no loans as of yet in this window, a surprise given how well the try-before-you-buy model has transpired in recent years. Perhaps this could be the position to try this method again? If so, then the likes of Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles and Tottenham defensive duo Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga are all still available if the club decide to initiate a temporary loan deal for a player needing game-time. As sides look to trim their squad and offload those not likely to make a substantial impact, Celtic may land themselves a good deal here if they stick around. After all, the transfer window does shut in Scotland a whole hour later than down south, meaning a late move may transpire as it did in the past with Carter-Vickers.


A problem area ever since pre-season commenced, the fact that this position has not been remedied already is worrying. An ever-present under Ange Postecoglou as an inverted full-back, Greg Taylor has struggled to revert back to the traditional role he played at both Kilmarnock and Celtic under Steve Clarke and Neil Lennon respectively. Despite putting in noticeably shaky performances – particularly at Pittodrie against Aberdeen – the on and off-field issues surrounding Alexandro Bernabei have meant that Taylor has been starting games largely by default.

The dream signing – though purely a stop-gap – was Kieran Tierney, but that ship has sailed to the Basque Country, specifically Real Sociedad. With Alistair Johnston now operating on the right-hand side, the starters in the full-back areas now look lopsided in terms of quality. Because of this, Celtic need to act fast to bring in a left-back who can fulfil the role that Johnston does so well on the right, or they face problems defensively both in Europe and domestically.

Personally, this should be the area where Celtic should pay the bulk of their budget in the remaining days of the window. Solve this problem now, and the defence will already look less shaky and more resolute because of it. No disrespect to Taylor, but a better player is required here, and fast.

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Central midfielder

In a position where Celtic have already signed two players in Odin Thiago Holm and Kwon Hyeok-kyu, the centre of midfield still looks very weak without Reo Hatate in it. Celtic rely on his guile and personality on the ball, as well as his ability to make difficult passes to start attacks.

There is no getting around it, Callum McGregor – for whatever reason – is struggling at the moment to get going under the manager who made him the player he is today. The double-pivot between David Turnbull and himself simply does not work, therefore the midfielder needs a willing runner beside him to do the hard yards, which Turnbull struggles to accomplish with any real pace or effectiveness.

It may be too soon for both new arrivals Holm and Kwon, who both may need a bit of time to acclimatise to the demands of being a Celtic player. However, Celtic still must function in the here and now and are crying out for a mobile midfielder to break the lines whilst driving forward with the ball. In Rodgers’ first spell in charge, the likes of Stuart Armstrong and a younger McGregor did this to great effect.

With Hatate’s long-term future still very much up in the air, Celtic would be both proactive and smart if they managed to recruit a high-quality operator in the middle of the park. It may even be the difference between getting a result or not on the European stage. Not a disaster if a transfer fails to materialise, but a position that will have to be sorted in the long-term regardless.