CELTIC’S Head of Recruitment Nick Hammond has totally transformed the crucial scouting and signing tasks at the club, which was something of a shambles under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers and Lee Congerton. Indeed it was this area that caused the Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell to have serious concerns about throwing more good money after bad after a series of dreadful signings from the previous manager and his recruitment ‘guru’ who are of course now operating together at Leicester City.
Yesterday, on the day after the Transfer Window ‘slammed shut’, Neil Lennon was named the Premiership Manager of the Month for September and he spoke to the media about the brilliant job that Hammond has done in repairing the damage down by the Rodgers/Congerton signing ‘strategy’.
“It’s been a brilliant window and Nick has done a great job. The recruitment team worked so hard over the lockdown period and summer,” the Celtic manager told the media as reported by Celtic’s You Tube Channel (see below).
“Nick has had to totally restructure that department and the amount of work that’s gone into it has been tremendous. He has kept his eye on a lot of deals and to get some of them done has been fantastic,” Neil Lennon stated.
📝 Comunicado Oficial 🚨🌞
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 5, 2020
“You look at guys we’ve signed like Shane Duffy, (Diego) Laxalt, Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti — plus David Turnbull is a great young talent.
“We have a good mix of experience and youth, and real quality. There is a bit of youthful exuberance in the squad. We identified the areas we wanted to strengthen and we did that. We have tidied up the squad too. Some have left and others have gone on loan to get games.
“We have brought in some real quality and allied to that, we have kept all our main assets.
“It’s really good business from our point of view, and it shows the intent the board have for this season and years to come.”
🤩 Just sitting there thinking… what a window!
Another warm welcome to all the new Bhoys! 👋🍀 pic.twitter.com/oAEjaHt7mD
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 6, 2020
The Celtic manager reviewed the previous month with a fair degree of satisfaction as he collected his award.
“It was a great month for us, and it was a brilliant response from the squad in that time. We had a lot of games in that block and we won them all. We used the squad, we freshened things up at times and we showed real consistency.
“There is more to come from the squad and now the window is shut we can settle everyone down. We have huge games to look forward to when we come back after the break and it’s exciting times. I am delighted with the players, and there has been a lot of hard work from my backroom team too,” Lenny added.
Celtic being able to hang onto players who were attracting interest from England and France could turn out to be crucial in our quest to win our tenth successive title. The likes of Oliver Ntcham, Kris Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie could easily have been sold – and when you consider previous summer windows when the likes of Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney were sold for around £45m.
And the resolve from everyone at the club to hold onto these players is all the more impressive when you factor in the financial implications that the pandemic brings to the club. Think Europa club group stage matches with no fans inside Paradise when in normal times there would have been 60,000 there for each game. And that is only one revenue stream being denied to the club at the moment.
Yesterday the club sent out a survey to every season ticket holder regarding your views on a safe return to football for our supporters. If you are a season ticket holder please take the time to complete this short survey and submit it. It could help get the at least some of the support back into Paradise again.
There won’t be any away supporters allowed anytime soon and there will be no place for supporters buses at all until the virus is beaten. After the concerning news last night about Odsonne Edouard testing positive for Covid-19 it is yet another reminder that we are a long way from being in that position. Get well soon Odsonne.