In the summer of 2021, Celtic went through one of their most tumultuous transfer windows in recent memory.
The appointment of Ange Postecoglou was accompanied by an exodus of many players – players who had to be replaced.
The disappointments of the previous season meant that improvements had to be made in pretty much every department, and the club oversaw the following acquisitions:
Kyogo Furuhashi (Vissel Kobe), Carl Starfelt (Rubin Kazan), Liel Abada (Maccabi Petah Tikva), Josip Juranovic (Legia Warsaw), Georgios Giakoumakis (VVV-Venlo), Joe Hart (Tottenham), Liam Scales (Shamrock Rovers), Liam Shaw (Sheffield Wednesday), Osaze Urhoghide (Sheffield Wednesday), and James McCarthy (Crystal Palace).
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota arrived from Tottenham and Benfica on loan respectively, while in the January transfer window, Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Johnny Kenny all signed.
With money set to burn Celtic’s pocket due to the upcoming Champions League group stage windfall, several signings have already been made ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, which commenced at the weekend with a routine 2-0 home victory against Aberdeen.
One of the scorers on flag day was Jota who, along with Carter-Vickers and Maeda, made his loan move permanent this summer.
In addition to those key signings, Celtic have acquired Aaron Mooy on a free transfer, Benjamin Siegrist on a free transfer, Alexandro Bernabei on a permanent deal from Lanus and Moritz Jenz on loan from Lorient.
There is plenty of time left in the current window for the club to do business, while Ange has reiterated his desire for further reinforcements, saying before the Aberdeen game:
“I’m pleased with where we’re at but there’s still four weeks of the window open and we’ll still be active and agile to see where we can strengthen.
“There will be some outgoings and some opportunities potentially to bring others in but there’s nothing set in stone with that.
Here are the latest players Celtic are being linked with.
Player: Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City)
Celtic have been linked with Bristol City striker, Antoine Semenyo, for most of the summer due to exploits in the English Championship last season. In 31 Championship appearances, he scored eight goals and recorded 12 assists from his position up top.
The latter stat in highlights his attribute as a team player in the centre-forward position which is certainly something that Postecoglou will demand.
There are many fans who believe that Celtic are still slightly short in the centre-forward position despite the presence of Kyogo and Giakoumakis. With the club desperate to offload Albian Ajeti, a third striker could become a priority, though it is probably not one at the moment.
While fans probably see Kyogo as the ‘brain’ and Giakoumakis as the ‘brawn’ in the final third, Semenyo could add something more as he has an impressive burst of pace in behind which would allow for more dangerous potential counters, particularly in the Champions League when the team will be under the cosh. He is also known for his pressing abilities.
Unfortunately, the player hasn’t had a pre-season due to injury and won’t return to action until September, so Celtic would be taking a punt on his fitness if they were to execute a deal.
Joseph Okumu (Gent)
At the moment. Celtic have Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Stephen Welsh and Christopher Jullien to fill their centre-back roles.
However, with Jullien pushing to leave this summer after a loan move to Schalke fell apart, the club will likely need another body at the back.
One player who continues to be linked is Gent’s Joseph Okumu, who signed for the Belgian side from Elfsborg a year ago.
With Okumu at the back, Gent had the second best defensive record in the Belgian First Division in 2021/22, with just 30 goals conceded in 34 matches in the regular season. He helped the club reach the Europa Conference League.
Strong and athletic, Okumu can also read the game expertly and actually had more successful tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes than Carter-Vickers last campaign.
Ryan Mmaee (Ferencvaros)
Celtic could find themselves in a transfer tug-of-war with Ferencvaros forward Ryan Mmaee, who has been attracting interested from a number of Ligue 1 clubs including Toulouse.
The Morocco international is set to represent his country at this year’s World Cup in Qatar so may want a move to a more high profile league to boost his chances of featuring on the regular in the tournament.
In the 2021/22 season he recorded an impressive haul of 19 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, including an assist against Celtic themselves in the Europa League.
Though he is mainly a centre-forward, he can also play on the left-hand side which would allow for frequent rotation up top depending on the other two players in the forward three.
According to the Record, he could be available for around €4 million.