How well did Celtic do in the departures lounge?

Off the back of winning a domestic treble, there was bound to be interest in some of Celtic’s most valuable assets. With the bloated feel the squad had at the start of the window, and the amount of deadwood lurking at Lennoxtown, there was always going to be plenty of movement out the exit door of Parkhead this summer.

Celtic recouped £29.7million in player sales during this window, with big names and fringe players alike moving on. Here is ACSOM’s thoughts on Celtic’s departures in the transfer window:

Jota (£24.8million to Al-Ittihad)

The biggest departure from Celtic Park this summer.

The Portuguese winger was a fan favourite and this transfer moved along pretty quickly. Celtic were most definitely caught off-guard by such a monumental offer and, when a team proposes a fee of nearly £25million for a player then the club will almost always have to accept the bid.

Jota’s time in Saudi Arabia has been a bit of a turbulent tale so far with him being unwanted a matter of weeks after signing, to playing and scoring for the team, and then undergoing treatment for an injury. One thing that is certain, however, is the fact that the quality he brought to the team is a big miss and we won’t know until further into the season if Celtic have effectively replaced what Jota brought to the team.

Carl Starfelt (£4.2million to Celta Vigo)

Another transfer that moved along pretty quickly and another staple of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic revolution that left the club this summer.

Starfelt’s decision to leave was an understandable one. Moving gave the Swede an opportunity to play under Rafa Benitez; live in sunnier climes; and be closer to his partner Jacynta Galabadaarachchi.

However, fans would’ve hoped that the club would have recouped a better fee for the Swedish international’s services with Starfelt moving on for a fee very similar to what Celtic initially paid for him from Rubin Kazan back in July 2021.

Albian Ajeti (£499k to Gaziantep)

There is a sizable gulf in quality from the aforementioned pair to Swiss striker Albian Ajeti. Signed from West Ham, Ajeti will forever be associated with Celtic’s disastrous ten-in-a-row attempt as well as the initial £4.6million fee that was shelled out for him.

An enormous amount of money lost in transfer fees, but getting him off of the wage bill and out of the equation is something Celtic have been pushing for since last summer.

Conor Hazard (£149k to Plymouth)

Conor Hazard will forever have his starring penalty shoot-out performance in Celtic’s quadruple treble securing Scottish Cup win over Hearts.

However, the keeper never showed the quality required to make the grade at Parkhead and a move to Plymouth was best for both parties.

Vasilis Barkas (free to Utrecht)

Much like the aforementioned Albian Ajeti, Barkas’ Celtic career will always ring the bells of the nightmarish 2020/21 season.

Signed for £4.2million, Barkas never once looked like a keeper of such calibre. Celtic were unable to recoup any of that fee with the club opting to terminate the Greek international’s contract, which allowed him to make the switch to Eredivisie side Utrecht, where he spent last season on loan.

Ismaila Soro (undisclosed fee to Beitar Jerusalem)

Ismaila Soro’s Celtic career had promise at one point under Neil Lennon, but he wasn’t fancied by Ange Postecoglou.

Soro failed to set the world alight on loan at Arouca last season and he returned to Israel with a move to Beitar Jerusalem.

Osaze Urhoghide (undisclosed fee to Amiens)

The final ‘fringe’ player moving on from the club.

Urhoghide saw limited minutes at Celtic and moved to the French second-tier as he signed with Amiens.

Sead Haksabanovic (loan to Stoke City)

Rumours of the Montenegrin’s exit came thick and fast in the final few days of the transfer window.

PAOK had interest in a permanent move for Haksabanovic but, after nothing could be agreed, Haksabanovic joined the English Championship, moving to Stoke City on loan.

After a controversial Instagram post in which he took a cheap dig at the club, his exit almost seemed inevitable.

Liam Shaw (loan to Wigan Athletic)

Much like Urhoghide, Liam Shaw has seen first-team minutes hard to come by at Celtic.

Consistently sent out on loan since his arrival in 2021, Shaw spent time at Motherwell and Morecambe, but his performances didn’t give fans much to scream about. Shaw will be hoping that he can finally impress with his third loan spell at Wigan in the English League One.

Adam Montgomery (loan to Fleetwood Town)

Initially joining Scott Brown in League One at Fleetwood, the driving force behind Montgomery’s loan was sacked just a few days ago.

After impressing on loan at St Johnstone last season, which resulted in him being nominated for the PFA Scotland young player of the year, Montgomery will be looking for further development at the Fishermen.

Aaron Mooy (Retirement)

Mooy was one of the standout players last season and at points he was one of the best performers in the team.

However, back injuries have plagued him and he decided to hang up the boots and call an end to his footballing career this summer.

The experience and quality that Mooy brought to the team will be missed and Celtic will hope acquisitions such as Odin Holm and Paulo Bernardo can help replace the Aussie’s ability.


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