The summer of signings by new manager Brendan Rodgers and the shape of his squad led many to believe deadline day had the makings of an exciting one for Celtic fans around the world. Instead, all was quiet and deadline day passed without Celtic making a move to buy any player.
About as close as Celtic got to making real headlines was over the proposed move by Jozo Simunovic to Torino in Serie A. That deal was on and off more times than one could possibly count in a 24 hour period, but as the deadline passed Simunovic was no longer in Turin and back on his way to Glasgow.
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DEAL OFF: Jozo Simunovic move to Torino officially dead & player is returning to #Celtic. Celtic transfer business now complete #DeadlineDay
However, his move did provide some fun moments for those tuning in to Sky Sports News HQ’s Deadline Day marathon of coverage. In fact, one Sky News reporter was even able to spot Simunovic hanging out in a cafe around the area where Turino have their headquarters.
Naturally he went in for the interview and Simunovic obliged. The player did go on to tell Sky Sports that he would be happy to come back to Celtic Park, and his main goal was just to get back on the football pitch.
That means, the oft-injured center back is going to have to fight to show he belongs with the hoops from here on out. It also means it may be very likely that a deal to get him out of the club could come in the next transfer window should he continue to not show well in training for Celtic.
Sadly for most Celtic supporters, much maligned Nigerian center back Efe Ambrose is still on the books at Celtic Park. He allegedly rejected a move to Belgian club Standard Liege, even after Celtic accepted a fee of £300,000.
It was the third rejected offer by Ambrose, who has been the scapegoat for a lot of Celtic’s issues on the back line of its squad over the past year or so. He previously rejected offers from EFL Championship sides Reading and Blackburn Rovers.
That means an interesting season ahead at Parkhead, as Rodgers has a clear surplus of players at center back and two players the manager clearly was willing to part with.
In the case of Simunovic, his potential move likely had more to do with the business side of the sport than the fit of the player at the club. Getting a reported £3.5 million for a player who played just 17 matches and has been snake-bitten by injuries would’ve been smart business. Instead, the Bhoys may have a gem on their hands for the future if he can get healthy and show the form he had with previous club Dinamo Zagreb.
With Kolo Toure clearly not a long-term answer (who is at age 35?), a player like Simunovic could benefit from getting back to form on the training pitch and in the crazy fixture list Celtic are about to find themselves in.
It certainly will be interesting to see how Rodgers and his coaching staff handle this squad with Champions League, Scottish Premiership and two domestic cup competitions to start navigating in the coming months.
Given all of that, it would’ve been nice to see some strengthening of the squad for top-level competition that Celtic are about to face. A rumored move for Everton midfielder (and life-long Celtic fan) James McCarthy never materialized and other rumors were not to be believed (see Charlie Adams in the hoops).
With a squad that had its big moves earlier in the summer, deadline day was a dud…just as it should’ve been for Celtic.