Should they stay or should they go? The players that need to stay and LEAVE reviewed.

Should they stay or should they go? The players that need to stay and LEAVE reviewed.

To paraphrase The Clash, I took a look at our current squad and, determined to be really cold hearted and unsentimental, here is my opinion on who should stay or go for next season. With the new manager coming in it will be interesting to see who is here and who is gone come August. As much as I like some players the reality is that we need a massive refresh and rebuild. The new manager might see things differently. You might see things differently. Let me know.

Goalies

Barkas

Has been an expensive folly. He has not made any actual howlers that I can remember but he just appears to have difficulty in making saves. He is not commanding in the penalty box and I just get the impression that he is at the wrong club for him. I wish him well wherever he ends up, but he won’t be a superstar at Celtic.

Verdict: Go

Bain.

As an able stand in I think we have a decent man for the job. A decent back up keeper to the likes of Gordon and Forster but is not the man to be the main goalie at Celtic Park.

Verdict: Stay

Hazard:

Conor Hazard has recently signed a new deal to stay with Celtic for the next two years. He was quoted as saying he needs to play but based on his rather nervy appearances for us this season, it won’t be at Celtic Park. I hope Connor goes on and has a great career but somehow I don’t think he will establish himself at Celtic. He will of course leave with a Scottish Cup medal so has lived the dream.

Verdict: Go

Defenders

Gulp! This is not going to pretty, but remember I did state above I was being unsentimental when doing this so here goes.

Ajer

Definitely a guy I would love to keep. I know he is not brilliant in the air, but this young man is a proper player. Has excelled at right back and many shrewd judges in the game believe he would thrive playing in his original position of midfield. He has an amazing will to win and celebrates tackles and clearances with great gusto. I reckon there will be a number of clubs keen to take him off our hands and whilst I would definitely keep him, I do believe that this season will be his last with us.

Verdict: Go

Welsh

To be fair he has come in and been reasonably solid. I don’t see him as a starter in our first choice XI but he has did enough to merit being part of a revamped first team squad moving forward.

Verdict: Stay

Taylor

I like wee Greg. He gives everything and moans at everything on the park. I love that he cares about his performance and that of others. He is competent enough defensively, but I just don’t know if he has enough about him to truly make the position his own. I want him to do well, and he had the unenviable job of playing LB after KT. As a squad player I would keep him, but only as back up.

Verdict: Stay

Jullien

Remember him??? The giant centre half made of glass. I swear that when I watch the games he seems to receive treatment every game. I cannot honestly say that this is because he is unbelievably brave or reckless in his determination to defend. He annoys me when I see him getting treatment and I wonder what subliminal message it sends to opponents? It tells me that this is a guy who is prone to injury and unreliable to an extent. Having assassinated him I think there is a player in there and he is someone who is actually capable of scoring from corners. I am not sure he believes that Celtic is his forever club but maybe a new manager will revitalise our Gallic stopper.

Verdict: Stay

Kenny

I was hopeful that he could replace wee Jeremie and big Hatem but alas he has been a monumental disappointment and for me there are a couple of right backs in Scotland that would enhance our team more than he would. Doesn’t do it for me offensively or defensively.Back to Everton Mr Kenny.

Verdict: Go

Duffy

This has been a disaster all round. Unfortunately, every deficiency big Shane has has been on show in Scotland. What a waste of time, energy and money. Looked like a decent acquisition on paper but as Cloughie said football isn’t played on paper. Not 100% sure it was Cloughie that said that, but it is the sort of thing he would say.

Verdict: Go

Laxalt

Cannot fault his effort but defensively suspect and positionally unaware. In his absolute determination to get forward he forgets to get back and watch how many times he is back behind the ball as our opponents pour forward with the ball. Not for me.

Verdict: Go

Ralston

The nearly man. We thought he was going to be the right sided KT, but he just hasn’t progressed. Will have a solid career, but just not with us. Good luck Tony.

Verdict: Go

Midfield

A couple of seasons ago our midfield was vibrant, dangerous, energetic and lots other positive pulsatingly good adjectives. This season it has for the most part, been laboured, slow, predictable and ineffective. Zzzzz.

Broony

Gone. Thanks for everything you absolute winner and good luck at Aberdeen and management. Has obviously been an amazing captain and deserves the plaudits that come his way.

Verdict: Go

Calmac

Tears of sadness stream down my face when I look at what Calmac has become this season. Four or five seasons being over played because he is so good and consistent has finally caught up with the player I believe is our best footballer. The wee guy is knackered. He shows well for about 25 mins then disappears and when he plays, we play. I plead for him to be given a rest and focus on getting him set for the mantle of captain next season.

Verdict: Stay

Christie

Loved Ryan when he broke through under Brendan. His enthusiasm, his work rate and his attitude were all spot on. Now…..looks at times as if he plays for Ryan Christie FC rather than Celtic. It appears to me that all the qualities that helped get him established at Celtic Park have gone. Any sort of fee will be welcome.

Verdict: Go

Rogic

On his game he is the most skilful player in Scotland. Tom is a player I love to watch and given we did not pay a huge fee for him we have well and truly had our money’s worth. Will never play 60 games a season like Calmac but can still produce moments of magic in the SPFL, just not in Europe.

Verdict: Stay

Bitton

Another who has served the club well in recent years but will never be a first pick. Tidy and I felt for him having to play at the back this season. As much as I like him it is time for big Nir to shuffle off into the sunset.

Verdict: Go

Soro

Also known as the lesser spotted Ismaila Soro. Give the guy a run in the team and let us see if he can be the holding midfielder. The managers don’t seem to trust him but when he has played, he has done well.

Verdict: Stay

Turnbull

A goalscoring midfielder who has made a starting position his own. I have high hopes for him. My one tiny criticism is that he loves to take a touch of the ball and there are times he can play it a bit quicker. Having said that, it is a tiny criticism. I think and hope that in the next year he will really grow into the Celtic jersey and be a superstar for us.

Verdict: Stay

Henderson

Any time I have seen him he has been neat, tidy and looks a decent footballer. Not sure if he will step up and make a starting jersey his own but certainly worth persevering for another year.

Verdict: Stay

Johnston

What an absolute superstar we could have on our hands. However, Mikey J’s injury record makes Tom Rogic look like Iron Man. A player who when he is fit and well is so creative, but so rarely fit and well. Not sure we can continue to pay Mikey J for about 10 games a season.

Verdict: Go

Ntcham

I thought we had a jewel who would just blossom for three or four years before moving onto a huge club in a big league. I guess that is why I am not a scout. Capable of being brilliant, but also capable of looking like he barely knows how to play some games. Time to cut him loose, but probably not to Marseille.

Verdict: Go

Forwards

Going from Moussa to Ajeti and Klimala is the epitome of downsizing. Celtic, even when the team has been poor, has always signed exciting, expansive forwards. Not anymore. It looks like the deciding considerations in signing forwards post eddy has been fee and wages. If you thought that I have been harsh so far then do not read on. This isn’t pretty.

Eddy

What. A. Player. I don’t think he is a genuine centre forward in the Moussa mould, but he can be so creative and score goals. We all wanted to be Edouard.The guy has been banging in the goals ever since his arrival at the club, but if ever a guy looks disinterested playing for Celtic it is Eddy. His lack of effort and application may end up costing him, and us, a big payday and a move to a club befitting his undoubted ability. The absolute greats, however, work so hard on the pitch. Not something that can be levelled at Eddy. I reckon we are looking sub 20 million for him now.

Verdict: Go

Ajeti

I have been watching him for the best part of a season and if someone can tell me what he is actually good at I will be most grateful. I see a player who does not have great pace, great skill, great predatory instincts, great heading ability, great hold up and link up play or even a great touch. So, in my opinion, not great. Time to cut our losses.

Go

Klimala

This guy is bustling, he has pace, but Celtic don’t really need that in our forwards. We need players with guile, skill, game awareness, cunning and the ability to finish. Not, sadly, the attributes big Patrik has in abundance. As with Ajeti time to take the financial hit and accept if you are constantly playing Moneyball scouting you don’t always get what you hope you are paying for.

Verdict: Go

Griffiths

Wee Leigh is a forty goal a season player in all our minds. That occurred some time ago and over the last five years or so his goal returns have diminished and questions about his attitude and application have increased. Over the past five seasons, since that fortygoal season, the wee man has scored 55 goals for us (at the time of writing). Not prolific at all, especially for a guy who is/was a natural finisher. Every Tim I know loves wee Leigh. But time and tide wait for no man and with all due respect the wee man isn’t going to get any fitter now that he is in his thirties. Reluctantly…

Verdict: Go

Elyounoussi

Not a huge fan, in that my view is that if he is not scoring, he is not offering much to the team. The thing is that he has chipped in with a few goals this season. More than a few goals. If he was available for four mill or less, I would take him from Southampton. In comparison to everyone else bar Eddy he is prolific.

Verdict: Stay

Forrest

Keep James. Play him every home game. Don’t play him away and don’t play him v Sevco I think he can still add something to the team. Don’t play him in Europe either. I know someone will come up with stats to say otherwise but I am going by what my eyes tell my brain.

Verdict: Stay

The staff

Hammond is gone and soon to be forgotten but what about those who remain? Can they be part of a new set up?

Kennedy

After having had a potentially superb career ripped from him at Hampden John has stayed with Celtic. John has had a good run at Celtic and I was interested to see how he would do post Lenny. Unfortunately, he proved to be Lenny Lite and this was less than inspiring.

Verdict: Go

Strachan

Maybe a future career in data analysis or another branch of IT awaits. The I Pad man should fall on his hardware and exit the building.

Verdict: Go

In summary, not a great deal of positivity, or confidence in our current squad. I have omitted our other players on loan on the basis that if they cannot get into a Celtic team that has fallen 20 points behind Sevco then they are highly unlikely to be part of a team that will go head-to-head and hopefully triumph over them. Interested to read your comments. What makes Celtic great is the diversity of opinions on, but the common love for the Hoops.

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