“It’s as simple as that. It’s pretty clear,” Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers spoke with the assembled mainstream media earlier this week following the club’s Annual General Meeting and the Irishman was asked about how the club and himself decide on the players they sign. There has been a bit of a palava ongoing I’m regard to how the club recruit new players after many in the fanbase were left feeling deflated in the latest transfer window.

]Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen at Celtic Park Stadium on November 12, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The summer came and went and there was a general feeling that although Celtic had bought more potential for the future that could be developed, we abdicated the responsibility of peppering the team with ready-made stars of considerable experience to help guide and mentor those younger heads in the squad. It’s something that has come back to bite us on the backside, as our Champions League group stage campaign is another which will be remembered with the phrase: ‘what if?’.

Rodgers has reiterated his desire to add quality in several key positions ahead of the January transfer window opening, whilst he also concedes that he needs to trim the overbloated squad he has at present, with many players nowhere near the starting XI.

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Celtic, shakes hands with Odin Thiago Holm of Celtic after the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic FC at Ibrox on September 03, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Speaking after AGM he said: “Listen, it’s something that’s natural. People will always wonder, especially when we’re a club that doesn’t have a director of football or sporting director. But it’s really no different here to most clubs. We identify the profile of the players that we want. The recruitment team then scythe that down to a certain number. Then it comes forward to me to decide on the best ones to bring in.

“And if none of the three are to the level then we don’t bring them, it’s as simple as that. It’s pretty clear. And that was one of the things, before I came and then when I came in, I needed clarity around that. The club’s strategy is to bring in young players and we have done that during the last window.

Celtic v Atletico Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Group E – Celtic Park Celtic s Callum McGregor greets manager Brendan Rodgers following the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Wednesday October 25, 2023. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xAndrewxMilliganx 74307339

The likes of Yang Hyun-jun and Odin Thiago Holm will show up very well in the future. But I have also said, strategically, that we need quality. And that’s something, hopefully, over the coming years we can improve on.”

There’s naturally a vested interest from the Hoops faithful about just who the manager intends to bring in within a matter of weeks now, but the gaffer didn’t give too much away on that front.

He said: “The notion now is to make sure we bring in better. You can get good players in January. But it’s availability and affordability. But there is no doubt that if we’re to enhance the squad in January then we’ll need to bring in someone who is going to improve us. My job is to manage and to coach. With the greatest respect, the modern day manager does not have the time to be going around and sitting in stadiums looking at loads of games. That’s not the job. So that’s why you’re reliant on the recruitment team.”

Brendan Rodgers and assistant John Kennedy attend a team training session at the Celtic Training Centre in Lennoxtown, north of Glasgow on October 24, 2023, (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

He continued: “Yes, of course there are certain players who you know and can bring in. But, in the main, the targets will come from the football club – and then I will choose. And it’s only right that I do. I’m stood on the sidelines so I take the responsibility for the players and the team when it’s out there. So it’s only right that I have the final say on the players coming in.

“There were some who were nearly over the line when I was due to come in. So I trust the progress. Some of the guys we brought in, I can absolutely see why they were coming in. But going forward it has to also be about quality. And that’s something we’re all aligned with. So it’s all very clear.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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