Where will Celtic look to add quality in January?

The spotlight is often pointed in the direction of the Celtic board on such matters as European progression (or lack of), recruitment strategy, the failure to produce our own young players, lack of fan engagement, and other matters within Scottish football that are left to fester.

The current bone of contention is our inability to compete in Europe. This was most recently exemplified by the 6-0 mauling in Madrid.

Many fans felt that the club wasn’t as active in the summer transfer window as it could have been. There was a perceived failure to recruit players of sufficient quality to make an immediate impact in the starting XI and on the European stage. This necessity was heightened after the triple loss of first-team starters Jota, Carl Starfelt and Aaron Mooy.

Celtic instead appeared to go for quantity over quality with their summer signings and the likes of Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Marco Tilio already seem to have been exiled from appearing for the first-team.

With it looking like a case of ‘try again next year’ when it comes to making progress in Europe, Celtic can begin making strides towards that goal in January.

The winter window is often used for stop-gap and short-term loan signings, but in recent years the Hoops have snapped up some real gems at this stage of the season, including Alistair Johnston, Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate.

Which positions could the club look to strengthen in January, and how realistic is it that the club actually acts upon it?


The left-back position has been primarily occupied by Greg Taylor over the last few years, but it is no secret that the Scotland international divides the opinion of Celtic supporters when it comes to his quality.

Celtic actually made an effort to replace Taylor or at least provide some healthy competition for his place back in the summer of 2022 when they signed Alexandro Bernabei from Lanus. That move hasn’t worked ou, with the Argentinian full-back completely out of the equation at the moment and not even making the squad for most domestic games.

The competition for his position drove Taylor on to become a better player, but he doesn’t possess the quality required to help take the team to that next level in Europe.

The club was linked with Nantes left-back Quentin Merlin in the summer, and this could be something Celtic revisits in January.


It was reported in the summer that Celtic wanted to strengthen between the sticks. This was a bit of business that failed to materialise despite links with the now Fenerbahçe goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovic.

Whilst Joe Hart may possess a lot of experience at the top level in his time at Manchester City and he may be a steady pair of hands domestically, when it comes to European football he is just a bit too slow for what Celtic needs against elite sides and he isn’t the same goalkeeper he was in his hayday at the Etihad.

This was evidenced in the early stages against Atlético Madrid, when he opted to punch the cross rather than claim the corner under no pressure. Atleti retained the ball in a dangerous area and went on to open the scoring and the floodgates.

Celtic have already been linked with Real Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin for a potential January move but may face competition from Chelsea. However, given Joe Hart’s influence on the team and dressing room, Rodgers may look to find a replacement for Hart in the summer rather than causing potential unrest by replacing him mid-way through the season.


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