“Celtic need to be looking to the future rather than harking back to the past,” Chris Sutton

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton yesterday considered the list of former Celts that have been linked with a move back to Paradise this summer as the speculation mounts ahead on who Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will sign in the summer transfer window.

 Kieran Tierney of Real Sociedad is challenged by Nico Williams of Athletic Club during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad at Estadio de San Mames on January 13, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

There have been plenty of coverage of possible Celtic returns for the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Kieran Tierney, Fraser Forster and Stuart Armstrong with only the big goalie not having had experience of playing under Brendan Rodgers in his successful Celtic side the first time around.

Yet Sutton is realistic enough to dismiss any links to both French Eddie and KT due to the money that would be involved in signing those players. Neither Crystal Palace or Arsenal will be looking at giving their player away on the cheap and will be looking to recoup as much of the combined £40m plus in transfers fees that they paid to Celtic.

 Odsonne Edouardcelebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton FC at Selhurst Park on November 11, 2023. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Edouard is likely to have tripled his salary

And both players will be on Premier League wages so the drop for a return to Celtic would be unrealistic. Sutton  writing in his newspaper column in Daily Record, does hold out some hope for a return to his boyhood club for Kieran Tierney at some point, but not at this stage of his career.

On the news that Crystal Palace are prepared to let Edouard leave this summer, Sutton noted: “They will be looking to recuperate a large whack of the £20m they spent on him to get him from Celtic – and that’s even before you get to his wages. Edouard is likely to have tripled his salary when he went down there and he won’t be short of clubs willing to match those terms.”

He will be back at the club one day

Real Sociedad’s Scottish defender #17 Kieran Tierney fights for the ball with Athletic Bilbao’s Spanish midfielder #21 Ander Herrera during the Spanish Liga football match between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club Bilbao at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on September 30, 2023. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

On KT’s situation Sutton had this to say: “I suspect he will be back at the club one day but unless it’s some kind of loan deal where Arsenal are feeling generous, then it’s not going to be any time soon.

“Tierney has had some injury problems but he’s a proven performer at the very top level. He’s done the business in the Premier League and impressed on occasions in Spain last season with Real Sociedad. He’s another one on big money and he won’t be short of offers in England or abroad if Arsenal decide to let him go.”

Tottenham Hotspur’s Fraser Forster reacts during the English League Cup football match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage stadium, in London, on August 29, 2023.  (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Sutton sees some merit in bringing in Fraser Forster, who has been told by Ange Postecolgou that Tottenham will listen to offers for him. Yet his age is a huge factor for Celtic and Brendan Rodgers is more likely to be looking elsewhere for a much younger goalkeeper.

Stuart Armstrong for an Aaron Mooy role

Stuart Armstrong of Scotland celebrates after scoring during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Scotland and Norway at Hampden Park on November 19, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

That leaves Stuart Armstrong, the 32 year old Invincible Celt who leaves Southampton this month after coming to the end of his contract.  Armstrong, Sutton notes, will not be short of offers and he also points out that the Scotland international has looked after himself over the years so would be more than useful as an additional midfielder, regardless of whether Matt O’Riley stays or goes.

Sutton is not convinced that Celtic’s Player of the Year will actually leave this summer, although you’d have to say that the odds on him staying are pretty long.

Armstrong is a free agent

: Stuart Armstrong of Scotland celebrates after scoring the team’s third goal during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Scotland and Norway at Hampden Park on November 19, 2023 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He also makes a point we made earlier this week, suggesting that Armstrong could do an Aaron Mooy type job role for Celtic next season, adding quality an experience.  Armstrong has many admirers down south – don’t be surprised if he ends up at Fulham – and he has options in Italy on top of that. Playing abroad might suit him for the final two or three years of his career.

“Armstrong is a free agent and that could balance out some of the issues over wages. But he is another one who won’t be short of offers this summer. He has been a very good player for Southampton and I’d expect a queue of clubs at the top end of the Championship who would love to have him on board,” Sutton wrote.

Celtic’s two major selling points

Brendan Rodgers prior to the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park Stadium on May 11, 2024 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic’s biggest selling points are the chance to play in the Champions League and the opportunity to work again with Brendan Rodgers, a manager Armstrong trusts and respects. But even then it might come down to the money and Fulham for instance are likely to present a better financial package to Armstrong and signing for them will allow him to stay on the south coast.

“Celtic need to be looking to the future rather than harking back to the past,” Chris Sutton concluded. He’s not wrong.

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Tags Brendan Rodgers Celtic Shorts Fraser Forster Kieran Tierney Latest Celtic news Odsonne Edouard Stuart Armstrong

1 Comment

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  1. Not so sure myself?
    One major thing on show with ourselves last season was the lack of stability within the squad overall imo?
    In turn it led to far to many inconsistencies with our performance levels, and this even produced within games and totally different displays between halves of football?
    Numerous reasons for such a lack of stability, with injuries, new players trying to fit in and established players struggling with the adjustments of a new manager mainly?
    OK, it came good in the end, yet that doesn’t mean that much of last season campaign should be overlooked either?
    Our Asian players in particular seemed to struggle most with the adjustments introduced, but weren’t the only players either?
    We still have plenty of younger players within our squad, so inconsistencies within performance with them is nothing new, and where the extra experience from more seasoned pros could have helped with the transition far easier imo?
    Thinking Rodgers will be looking to add a few more seasoned pros during the summer to improve the balance within the overall squad imo?
    Thinking Rodgers hasn’t got as much trust built up as of yet, upon to many players with potential within them but struggling to find the performance levels on a consistent basis imo?
    Still would be expecting a far better balance within the overall squad next season, where the seasoned pros with a better understanding of Rodgers is looking for, will be introduced to help with the younger players to grow in confidence imo?
    Games at CL level can be decided upon very fine margins, and we got ourselves involved in far to many of such matches last season, which many were very costly to ourselves also?
    Expecting many improvements within the overall squad, and fail to see where the more experienced and seasoned pro can’t show there worth to the squad?
    If that means looking at ex players and ones that the manager trusts moreso, then so be it, as Rodgers job will always depend upon his decision making and what he delivers in return?
    Last season ended up grand in the end, but wasn’t that way for long periods of the campaign and confident that Rodgers will want to rectify that, and needs to be also imo?

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