Why Lenny’s summer overhaul is crucial for Nine then Ten in a Row

CELTIC yesterday afternoon confirmed that club legend Neil Lennon has accepted the offer to return to the club for his second spell as manager after a fairly successful caretaker tenure. So what does this mean for the club and the summer ahead?

With Champions League qualifiers around the corner it is now time for unity among the support as we enter what will be a crucial summer in determining whether Lennon will be a success this time around.

The squad the new manager has inherited despite winning a Treble Treble is needing a considerable overhaul to freshen up the team.

Beginning with the back line full backs Christian Gamboa and Emilio Izaguirre have already departed the club with Dedryck Boyata following closely behind them. Loanees Filip Benkovic and Jeremy Toljan have returned to their parent clubs and fans favourite Mikael Lustig’s future remains unclear with his contract set to expire (Neil Lennon has indicated that he wants Lustig to stay for another year or two and plans to speak to the player’s representative shortly to discuss a new deal).

If the Irishmen is to learn from his predecessors mistakes it is vital he improves the quality in the both full back areas. It has been clear to the majority of Celtic fans that the right full back position has been the key weakness of the team over the past seasons. For the left full back position in order to aid Kieran Tierney’s development a quality number two is required to continue pushing the academy graduate and allow rotation where required.

In the midfield department it may be the case that the new manager will be trying to keep his best players at the club with Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor (heaven forbid) and Olivier Ntcham all linked with moves away from Parkhead. With Kouassi Eboue and Daniel Arzani returning from long term injuries it will be interesting to see where they fit in.

In attack it is expected that the long awaited return of Leigh Griffiths will add some much needed depth to the attacking options. We will also be looking forward to see what impact Maryan Shved and Vakoun Issouf Bayo have on the squad going into the new season.

Despite there being just over a month left until we begin in their quest to reach the holy grail of club football not only does the club have to begin doing its business early the club also have to take time to find and hire a head of recruitment who is vital in finding new signings for the club.

This however has not hindered planning for the summer manager Neil Lennon confirmed both he and the board have been planning for the summer and drafting a list of potential targets.

The next month is vital for the club, not only on a European football front but also domestically, getting business done as early as possible allows players time to settle in. It is vital for the new manager to be back on the transfer front if it is believed he is the man to take us forward.

Regardless of your ideal candidate and opinions on Neil Lennon’s appointment we must be there and ready to back him once again as we enter what will be a couple of seasons which will be remembered for decades to come, if Neil Lennon is successful.

Nickolas McInally

If you fancy writing for The Celtic Star please email your contribution to editor@thecelticstar.co.uk – you can write about any Celtic related subject.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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