The expected completion of David Turnbull’s £3million move to Celtic will be welcome news to wary fans, who approach transfer windows with hope rather than expectation.
There had been a distinct lack of rumours going around ahead of the window opening. One to get our teeth into was that Neil Lennon was after Motherwell’s teen sensation Turnbull, whose goals from midfield have marked him out as Scotland’s hottest prospect outwith Celtic.
Then, reports of ‘lowball’ bids and then Motherwell going public with their frustration brought echoes of a year ago, when the John McGinn saga, unfortunately, turned out to be far from the worst fiasco of the season off the pitch.
So to move from that to entering talks with the player, relatively speedily as far as these things move with Celtic, was a good sign.
However, Celtic also started last season with seeming intent, confirming the permanent signing of Odsonne Edouard from Paris St Germain.
The young striker is a prime example of getting what you pay for. He scores every kind of goal, from tap ins to powerful finishes after long, mazy runs, and he does it in the big games, when it matters most.
It should be remembered, though, that Celtic appeared to dither over confirming the Frenchman’s permanent signing.
It could be that there was a good reason to prolong the wait before concluding the deal. But with only days to go before other clubs could enter the bidding, and the player having stated his desire to stay in Glasgow after his loan, some cynics could be forgiven for thinking the delay was a deliberate ploy to make us look busy.
The rest of the transfer window turned out to be something of a disaster, culminating in players in the huff after not being sold and star striker Moussa Dembele leaving without a replacement, using social media as a battleground with cryptic accusations over his departure.
With the signing of Turnbull, Celtic appear to have made a statement. However, it’s obvious that someone will be leaving to make way for the youngster, with Olivier Ntcham the likely candidate, having endured what can best be described as a disappointing season.
However, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly keen on ‘keeping in touch’ with his former players, the worry remains that Callum McGregor could be a target for Rodgers, under whom he blossomed.
McGregor impressed last year when Scott Brown was injured and his vision and crisp passing from the back helped Celtic get back into a groove after what had been a sluggish start to the season following the off-field debacle.
Brown’s influence can’t be overstated, but with the club targeting a number of younger midfielders, it could be that Celtic are about to undergo the most radical changing of the guard in that department for a decade.
McGregor would be a relatively old head in that team, with many fans hoping his long term role could be as a deep-lying dictator of play. Losing him would be a huge blow.
Kieran Tierney is another the fans will be desperate to keep. With the defence in need of major reconstruction and reinforcements, it’s not a replacement for Tierney that fans want, it’s help.
The Celtic-daft left-back has been run into the ground in recent years, but rumours of Lyon and Arsenal sniffing around, among others, keep popping up.
It’s to be hoped he’ll want to be here for what would be a historic 9 and then 10 in a row, cementing his legendary status.
Money talks though, and with a pile of cash on the table, will Peter Lawwell and the board see it as too good to turn down, putting it into the ever-increasing pile stashed in the bank?
Celtic need top players to play alongside the talent we already have. We undersold with Van Dijk and Dembele, and even Wanyama although Southampton lost money when he moved to Spurs.
We should not be blinded by the figures bandied about for any of our best players, not when we know that a season or two in France or England can see players value double in the case of Dembele, or increase five-fold when it comes to Van Dijk.
Celtic need to build to qualify for Europe and then compete when we get there. We won’t do that by selling our best players.
We’ve failed to do it three years out of the past five in winnable ties and the money lost far outweighs anything we made from player sales. Welcome a signing as Turnbull is, but whether the overall strategy of bringing in more money than we invest has changed remains to be seen.