Chris Sutton has revealed his concerns over Ange Postecoglou’s recent additions to the Celtic squad, as he fears the new signings may ‘weaken’ Celtic for the second half of the season.
Most recently, Ange has brought in the skills of Oh Hyeon-gyu, along with Alistair Johnston, Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi all being brought to Parkhead this transfer window. A few of these players have already made a strong first impression on the pitch while wearing a Celtic jersey, most notably Johnston who put in a decent performance while debuting at Ibrox in Celtic’s 2-2 draw with theRangers. However, with the departure of Juranovic and the quickly developing exit of Giorgos Giakoumakis from Paradise, Sutton believes the strength of the squad may be going backwards.
The Celtic legend voiced his concerns on Record Sport Celtic Podcast. “You have to ask yourself, will Celtic be stronger with Juranovic and Giakoumakis out the door? Johnston has come in and looked pretty steady, but will he be up to the level of Juranovic over a sustained period?
“The way Celtic use the inverted full-backs under Postecoglou, I don’t think he brings quite as much as Juranovic in an attacking sense just yet. In terms of Giakoumakis, I know he’s played second fiddle to Kyogo, but he almost guarantees goals every time he plays.”
“With Oh coming in, it will be interesting to see how he fits in and it will be important he fits in quickly and hits the ground running. Giakoumakis wasn’t just about his goals, it was his physical presence, the way he holds the ball up. You look at his performances against (the)Rangers in the big games. He always turned up. I think he will be a huge miss. Ange Postecoglou hasn’t got a lot wrong in the transfer market. There must be a reason for letting him go. Giakoumakis wanted out but he always looked like a player who was highly motivated and he’ll be a loss.”
“Most people would think he’s going for pretty ordinary money. I don’t doubt down the line Postecoglou will improve over time because the manager has done that with just about every player he’s brought in. But sometimes it’s about the here and now. The league isn’t over and I think it’s a big gamble. Could this have not waited until the summer?”
“I hope Oh is a revelation but it does worry me, at a time the pitches are starting to roughen up and Celtic are not going to be able to play their free-flowing stuff all the time, they don’t have that other option. When Giakoumakis is on the pitch he does get opportunities and you’d back him to finish them. There have been many games where he’s been influential. Oh is a work in progress,” Sutton reckons.
“Hopefully, he’ll hit the ground running but he’s a development player who will have to play second fiddle to Kyogo. But if anything happens to Kyogo, then Giakoumakis was a sure thing, can we say the same about Oh? That’s not having a pop at Oh. It’s just that it’s all about winning titles in Scotland and it’s not over yet.
“There’s a lot of talk coming from across the city. You’d rather be in Celtic’s shoes but they don’t want to risk an opportunity to keep (the)Rangers in their place.”