Alongside the several potential new players Celtic have been linked to this window, they also have their eye on a new manager. The Mirror recently reported that Rafael Benitez is in the picture to usurp Neil Lennon as head coach of the Glasgow giants, following his decision to leave his role in China.
No decision has been confirmed yet and Lennon is still very much in charge of the Hoops, but if he is to be shown the door, the club have a lot to thank him for.
Not only did the Irishman lead Celtic to their historic quadruple-treble accolade, alongside several Premiership titles but he has developed players like Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull into proven first team players.
The 2020/21 season has undeniably been tough on the Bhoys, who are down and out in their chances of securing a tenth consecutive Premiership trophy. They were also handed an early exit from the Europa League after conceding the joint-most amount of goals (19) and managing to win just one match out of the group stages.
With a crisis on their hands, Lennon was forced to rummage around in the substitutes barrel. Taking a punt, the boss took a chance on 2020 signings Turnbull and Soro. This is one of the smartest decisions Lennon has made this season and if he is to part ways with Celtic, he will leaving two ready-made stars in his wake.
According to Transfermarkt, Turnbull has contributed six goals and three assists for Celtic this season, despite only making his first start in October. He has been the difference for his side on numerous occasions, including his goal to secure a point against Hibernian earlier this month.
Soro has also made a vast difference to Celtic’s midfield and has taken the place of Scott Brown on several occasions. According to WhoScored, the 22-year-old has averaged a higher passing accuracy than the Hoops skipper and more interceptions and tackles per match.
This goes to show the benefits of Lennon taking a risk as he desperately tried to turn this season on its head. Whilst he hasn’t achieved what he wanted, he can be proud that he has developed two overlooked players into solid and reliable starters.