Sixth and a whopping six points off of the top of the Scottish Premiership’s leaders Hamilton Academical, it’s not quite been the season the Hoops were hoping for. The farce that was the Champions League qualification campaign rather set the tone, with Ronny Deila having struggled to step up to the plate after replacing Neil Lennon.
With January’s transfer window edging into view as the winter nights set in, Bhoys fans can start to think about transfer plans, but before new names can be signed, some players will have to be shipped out. Aside from new goalkeeper Craig Gordon, the entire Celtic squad has been off of the pace, so here are a few players who could be axed in the New Year…
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Griffiths hasn’t been quite the purchase Celtic were hoping for, with off-field incidents having, at times, overshadowed his abilities on the turf. Signed earlier this year from Wolves, the Scotland international has missed out on recent national squads thanks to his below par performances, and he looks to be behind loanee John Guidetti in the pecking order.
Celtic don’t necessarily have to wait until January to axe this man – and he’s also not a player – but we though that the underperforming Deila deserves a mention on this list. The Norwegian was always in for a tough time following on from Neil Lennon, but with the Bhoys sitting some way off of the summit of the Scottish Premiership, this season has the potential to be the worst in the club’s recent history.
This may sound mad, but selling Virgil van Dijk in January may actually be a wise option. The Dutchman has been excellent since his arrival in Scotland, with his performances having attracted Premier League attention. With Celtic in need of some fresh blood to replace a number of departed stars over the course of the past few seasons, a decent price for Van Dijk could allow for investment in the squad. It may be a step back, but a sale could provide the springboard for two steps forward.
Out on loan this season, Balde grabbed headlines with a stunning goal for Waasland-Bereven. But don’t be fooled, the Guinea-Bissau star has proven that he’s not up to Celtic standard already, and could be one to look at shipping out permanently either in January – if his loan side want him – or at the end of the season. With Guidetti impressing and looking like a player the Hoops may want to keep permanent, Balde’s chances back in Glasgow look bleak.
After just over four years at the club, it may be time for Kayal to head for pastures now. The Israeli has been a decent performer, but Celtic are in need of some fresh blood in midfield, so bodies will have to be shifted. At 26, Kayal shouldn’t struggle for suitors and could bring in a decent amount of cash to put towards purchases.