Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell disagrees with the idea that there is a massive rebuilding job needed this summer.
Speaking after announcing Neil Lennon had been offered the job on a permanent basis, Lawwell said the squad is in far better shape than some would believe:
“We still have a core of a lot of good players. I think people are maybe overestimating what we need to do or overstating it.”
In stark contrast to former striker Chris Sutton’s comments that the team needs up to seven new additions, Lawwell is seemingly comfortable with the bulk of the squad.
A lot of Celtic supporters will be concerned by that level of complacency. For sure, the Bhoys have secured a historic treble-treble but there are at least three areas where improvements need to be made:
Oli Burke will be returning to West Brom after his loan spell while Timothy Weah has already gone back to Paris Saint-Germain. It leaves Odsonne Edouard and Vakoun Issouf Bayo as the only two recognised strikers, along with Leigh Griffiths if the forward is ready to return next season.
The club have never really replaced Moussa Dembele, and a significant outlay will be needed to add firepower to this team.
Dedryck Boyata is leaving for Hertha Berlin and Filip Benkovic is going back to Leicester City. With Mikael Lustig’s contract also expiring, the only two players who will be left to play centre-back are Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer.
At least two centre-halves will need to be signed at the bare minimum, preferably before the Champions League qualifiers in July.
Jeremy Toljan’s loan spell from Borussia Dortmund has bee hugely disappointing, and with Lustig’s future still uncertain, the club may have to shell out for two right-backs if the Swedish veteran also departs.
Anthony Ralston will no doubt have a role to play under Lennon, but strengthening the right-hand side of defence has to be a priority this summer.
Celtic need to sign at least four senior first-team players, but with weaknesses in central midfield and on the left wing, that could easily rise to six or seven as Sutton rightly points out.
With Rangers not going to stand still during the summer transfer window, the Hoops must make sure they are not left behind counting their medals. Lawwell should take heed of the calls for serious changes or, otherwise, the team could be in for a fair old scrap for the title next campaign rather than a straightforward defence.