PAUL JOHN DYKES
Most important signing 2014/15 – Craig Gordon
Neil Lennon left Celtic on 22 May 2014, having led the club to three league titles in-a-row. As the inevitable personnel changes began to take place under incoming gaffer, Ronny Deila, the first new signing of the summer was something of a surprise.
Scottish international goalkeeper, Craig Gordon, had been absent from the game for two years with troublesome knee injuries when Celtic offered him a contract. Fraser Forster was swiftly sold to Southampton for £10 million and Gordon became Ronny’s first-choice between the sticks.
Having gone on to win five consecutive league titles, Gordon has been an integral part of Celtic’s historic treble treble-winning squad. Perhaps his most iconic moment in a Celtic jersey was when he fell to the rain-soaked Hampden turf amidst the bedlam of securing an invincible treble.
PAUL JOHN DYKES
Most important signing 2015/16 – Ryan Christie
Celtic signed some solid performers in Ronny Deila’s second term in charge – Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Šimunović and Erik Sviatchenko. They also signed some unmitigated duds in Nadir Çiftçi, Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim-Richards.
Prior to the 2018/19 League Cup semi-final against Hearts, however, it would have been a mission to find any Celtic fan who would fail to choose Paddy Roberts as their signing of 2015/16.
The Manchester City teenager, who had been a £12 million capture from Fulham just six months previously, became a fans’ favourite at Celtic Park following his January 2016 loan move. The Londoner’s achievements, however, have since been eclipsed by someone who had been in serious danger of becoming the Hoops’ forgotten man.
The rise of Ryan Christie has gone some way to softening the blow of losing out on John McGinn in 2018. In fact, surely Christie’s inspired displays have now whitewashed the disappointment of McGinn’s move to Aston Villa?
Since returning from a prolonged and successful loan spell at Aberdeen, Christie has developed into one of Scottish football’s finest technicians. His seemingly magical left foot has already shot him to the top of Celtic’s scoring charts this season, as Neil Lennon’s men aim towards a ninth successive league title and quadruple treble.Listen to the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind podcast
Most important signing 2016/17 – Moussa Dembélé
Having played out his contract at Fulham in the English Championship, Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic were able to nab Moussa Dembélé for almost nothing, only paying a development fee to the London side.
Almost immediately after his arrival, the promising French youth international proved his worth to the Celtic Park faithful by putting on a string of incredible performances – including scoring a famous hat trick in the first Glasgow derby of the season. Many held Dembélé up as the best player to feature in the hoops since Henrik Larsson, as Dembélé scored 32 goals in his first season, and continued his great goalscoring form into his second season at the club. Due to his integral role in both the Invincible Treble and Double Treble seasons, Dembélé remains a fan favourite to this day.
Dembélé left Celtic in August 2018 for a fee of around £20 million – more than repaying what Celtic had initially paid for his services. There is an argument to be made that other players signed in the summer of 2016, such as Scott Sinclair, played a more vital role in the 16/17 season – but for his presence as a dependable goalscorer in big games throughout his time in Glasgow, it’s hard to pass Moussa Dembélé over for this one.