Most important signing 2011/12 – Mikael Lustig
The 2011/12 summer transfer window largely passed by with no marquee signings. Victor Wanyama arrived from Beerschot in Belgium and would go on to make a name for himself by scoring in an unforgettable night at Celtic Park in a 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League. However, in the winter transfer window, Celtic secured the services of Swedish internationalist Mikael Lustig from Norwegian champions Rosenborg.
Lustig’s seven-year spell at the club would be filled with success, winning the title in every year of his stay. His final major contribution came at Hampden Park on 25 May 2019, when he provided the assist for Odsonne Edouard to seel the historic Treble Treble.
Lustig will be remembered as a stalwart of a record-breaking Celtic team, helping secure an invincible treble, double treble, and treble treble in his final three seasons at the club. When you add in his solo goal at Ibrox to secure a 5-1 victory, his dancing celebrations, beach ball hat and Officer Lustig celebrations as Celtic secured the title against our city rivals in another unforgettable day at Celtic Park, it’s easy to acknowledge that PC Lustig will go down as a major contributor to our ongoing success since the 2011/12 season.
Most important signing 2012/13 – Fraser Forster
After two consecutive seasons on loan at the club, Fraser Forster signed permanently from Newcastle United for £2 million. During 2012/13, he was a stand-out success over the course, with Celtic reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and winning a league and cup double. His performance in the 2-1 victory over Barcelona was simply one of the greatest Celtic goalkeeping performances of all time.
The following season, Forster created history when he set a new club record of 13 league clean sheets in-a-row, surpassing a record of 10 clean sheets set by Charlie Shaw in the 1921/22 season. As well as this, he also broke Bobby Clark’s Scottish League record, when he achieved 1,256 minutes of football without conceding a goal. He would go on to leave the club for Southampton at the end of this season for £10 million.
Forster went on to make the England squads for the 2014 World Cup finals and 2016 European Championship finals, before making a dramatic return to Celtic on loan this summer. In his second game back in Glasgow, he could have spent the match reading a newspaper as Celtic comfortably defeated Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox.Listen to the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind podcast
Most important signing 2013/14 – Nir Bitton
Signed in the same window as the now most expensive defender in the world, Virgil van Dijk, the most important signing for Celtic in 2013/14 was, in my opinion, Nir Bitton.
Yes, we received almost £20 million in transfer fees from the sale of van Dijk, but, as we’ve seen recently, reinvestment doesn’t go far and Bitton continues to play a key role in the current side.
Despite originally being called Biton by the club, Israeli international Nir Bitton has gone on to be one of the best signings of recent years and continues to make consistent performances season after season. One of Dudu Dahan’s clients, Bitton joined Celtic from FC Ashdod on the 30 August 2013 and, despite having a horrendous time of it with injuries, Nir has managed 192 appearances and 12 goals for the club.
An accomplished midfielder, Bitton has also slotted in at centre-back with absolute ease and his performance on Sunday in the Glasgow derby was described as “cooler than a cucumber in an icebox”. That perfectly sums up the type of player Bitton is, he offers reassurance to the team and his influence within the squad cannot be understated.
Bitton’s contract is up at the end of the season and with six League trophies, four League Cups and three Scottish Cups to his name already, most fans will hope he signs on to stay in the hunt for 10-in-a-row.