Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson believes Neil Lennon must be properly backed by the club during this summer’s transfer window, as reported by The Daily Record.
Despite winning a treble for the third successive year last term, this summer definitely feels like a transitional one for the Celtic squad.
After filling in for Brendan Rodgers mid-season, Lennon will finally have a chance to stamp his own authority on the team and make additions that better suit his vision of how the Hoops should play.
That will of course cost money and Wilson is adamant that the recruitment job ahead can’t be done on the cheap, urging the Celtic board to back the new manager with all the resources he needs.
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As quoted by The Daily Record, the 35-year-old said:
“You can’t say just because Neil’s a Celtic man, he’s been here before, he loves the club, all that stuff, that you can sell him short with, say, £8million to beef up the squad.
“It has to be an awful lot more than that, considering how many positions they need to fill.
“It’s going to take a chunk of cash. He needs centre halves, a striker, a right back, cover at left back.
“Every good squad has a cycle. You can’t keep winning without freshening up and Neil has proven in the past he can find a quality player or two.
“You can trust him with a transfer kitty, and with nine and maybe 10 coming up, Peter has to be aware of what the fans will expect.”
The positions Wilson mentions are the definite priorities for Celtic this summer with the midfield and wing positions looking pretty strong barring any departures.
He is also right to suggest it will cost a fair wedge of money, but the club would be the first to point out it’s about investing in players wisely, rather than simply spending for the sake of spending.
Celtic often stick to a defined profile of player when entering the market and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
The most successful stars to come through Celtic Park in recent years have been young talents not quite yet at their prime who can improve in the first-team and be sold on for a much larger fee.
Perhaps key will also be getting through the early rounds of the UEFA Champions League qualifying process unscathed – reaching the group stages or at least confirming a place in the UEFA Europa League groups unlocks both personnel and cash available to Lennon.
The perception of Lennon’s appointment is that it was a cheap option, but the signs are there the club will invest in this squad. There’s too obvious a need and recruitment failure will have the Hoops support up in arms.