Critical Week Ahead for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic: Transfer Window and Glasgow Derby Loom
The clock is ticking, and the pressure is mounting for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic. With the transfer window set to slam shut on September 1st and the next game against arch-rivals Rangers, it's safe to say this is one of the most critical weeks Rodgers has faced in his managerial career.
The recent 0-0 draw against St Johnstone only adds to the tension. Despite dominating possession and creating numerous chances, Celtic couldn't find the back of the net. Brendan Rodgers didn't mince words after the match, stating that the team "huffed and puffed" but lacked the speed and craft needed to break down a resolute St Johnstone defense.
Injury woes continue to plague the squad, exacerbating the challenges ahead. Key players like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, and Steven Welsh are sidelined until October. Yuki Kobayashi and Reo Hatate are also out, slated to return post the international break. To make matters worse, Oh is also unavailable, leaving the team with just one fit striker. It's clear that Celtic needs to bring in reinforcements—a goalkeeper, centre half, left back, winger, and a striker—before the transfer window closes.
Adding fuel to the fire, Sead Hakšabanović's cryptic Instagram post, "If they don’t see your value maybe you’re not at the right place," does little to help the team's morale. Such comments coming from a player who has had ample opportunities to shine but has consistently failed to deliver are particularly unhelpful. If these words were from a key contributor, perhaps there'd be some weight to them. But in this case, it's hard not to think, "Close the door on your way out, Sead."
Amidst all this, strong rumours are circulating that Luis Palma, the Honduran star currently shining in Greece, could be the first player to join Celtic this week. Palma has been turning heads with his performances for Aris Thessaloniki, and his versatility on the wings could be just what Celtic needs to fill the void left by Jota's departure. His dribbling skills, pace, and ability to score could add a new dimension to Celtic's attack, making him a valuable asset in the crucial games ahead.
With the Glasgow derby looming, Rodgers will need all hands on deck to find a cure to the hangover the team are experiencing since the departure of Ange Postecoglou. The transfer window's closure adds another dimension to this high-stakes week. Will Celtic make any last-minute signings to bolster the squad? Or will they stick with the current squad and hope for the best? One thing is for sure: the next few days could define Celtic's season.