Stay or Go: Sandman’s Definitive Celtic Squad Decisions

Sandman has given is opinion on the Celtic squad that finished the season with the Scottish Premiership trophy alongside the Scottish Cup safely back in the trophy cabinet in the Boardroom at Celtic Park. The main two out of three ain’t bad.

It was a difficult season in many ways with a change of manager and an overlap in signing strategies with Brendan Rodgers having to work with a significant number of project signings, giving each an opportunity to see where they’d fit in, if at all. That also meant that established performers such as James Forrest were wrongly marginalised but genuine quality told in the end and James roared back at the business end of the season to play a significant part in the double success.

On a thread on our great wee forum, Celtic Noise, there is an assessment going on regarding who should stay and who should go and as Sandman does the Definitive Ratings for every Celtic match then we thought you’s be interested in seeing his thoughts on the Celtic squad from last season, specifically who should stay and who should go. Over to Sandman…


Hart – retiring. Hook in as coach/advisor; he’d do it just to keep involved; can work remotely.

Bain – keep as back-up; very popular character in the dressing room.

Siegrist – Conundrum. Has anyone actually seen him play for us? I can’t remember. Why is his stock so low?


AJ – keep. Ralston – keep. Taylor – keep.

Bernabei – sell, but only if there’s another LB lined up.

CCV – keep. Scales – keep. Nawrocki – keep.

Welsh – sell or loan out.

Lagerbielke – sell if there’s no way back between him and Brendan Rodgers.

Kobayashi – sell.

Montgomery – loan and see.


McGregor – canonise.

O’Riley – persuade to stay for Champions League with promise of January move for right fee.

Hatate – keep, get properly fit before using again.

Iwata – keep.

Shaw – sell.

Bernardo – sign on permanent deal.

Holm – keep. Give more gametime. There’s a Martin Odegaard player in there.

McCarthy – release into the wild if anyone can find him.

Kwon – Conundrum. May be a different player now that he’s drug lord of the Paisley yakuza.

Kelly – keep.


Hakšabanović – sell, too mad.

Tilio – sell or loan until he gets better command of his facial hair.

Johnston – Ship Mikey to WBA.

Jamesy – keep, there’s one more in him. That’s what she said.

Maeda – keep for renewable energy uses.

Kuhn – keep, get fit.

Yang – keep or loan out.

Palma – keep.

Vata – take it or leave it, kid. Play your way in like a man and stop greetin’ about game-time.

Kyogo – keep.

Idah – sign. Soon as.

Oh – dependent on Idah/Miovski? A.N Other. Don’t think he fits manager’s vision.

So there you go, a wee summary of the Celtic squad with some advice for Brendan and just a little bit of Sandman humour thrown in to put a smile on your face during the close season!

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email


  1. Would be very similar to how I see things myself, heading into next season.
    What’s so noticeable, is 36 players listed, and yet we remain so short still, of forming a competitive 25man squad for our CL campaign next season?
    If there isn’t a place available for them within the 25man squad, then would say it’s best all round to be moving them on imo?
    Few exceptions though, no problem keeping hold of Bain as a 3rd choice keeper, but hopefully we no longer require him to make up numbers for our homegrown quota?
    Holm, possibly needs a loan move to get more game time into him, and see where things stand regarding him in a years time imo?
    Same could possibly apply to Yang also, but would give him the benefit of doubt, for the time being. Could change just before the window shuts all the same imo?
    Keeping hold of Oreily is possibly a longshot, even if there’s no requirement to sell?
    Hopefully both idah and Paulo become permanent signings also, especially as both would warrant a place in the 25man squad imo?
    Along with both Kelly and Vata to increase squad numbers, especially as both wouldn’t be within the 25man squad next season, as believe both could be listed as B squad players for CL, and should be getting a bit more game time within the SPFL next season also imo?
    What still remains clear is the amount of outgoing players remains higher than what we require to make up a decent 25man CL squad for ourselves?
    Don’t understand why we had to stock pile the amount of players as we did, but has to be massively reduced hopefully over the course of this window.
    But with a change in transfer strategy and policy, still expecting ourselves to be in a far stronger and healthier position, with a far easier list to comment upon in a years time imo?