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The Shrewdest Transfer Window In Recent Years ?
It was a busy and productive end to a transfer window that many had feared earlier on would deliver so little.

It was a busy and productive end to a transfer window that many had feared earlier on would deliver so little. This frustration had been born out of the last few windows but this time the board and back-room team delivered with every position which needed strengthening being re-enforced.

Recent evidence of this was in the 2-0 victory at Ibrox in which new defender Christopher Julien was awarded man of the match. Right and left back has also been bolstered with Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli, who had got off to a shaky start at Celtic Park but repaid the faith shown in him by Neil Lennon with a brilliant display at the weekend. The goalkeeping position was strengthened with the injury to Scott Bain. 'La Gran Muralla' Fraser Forster has returned for a second spell and is a commanding presence in the six-yard box. There are lesser-known talents that joined towards the end of the window and one of them is Republic of Ireland under-21 international, Lee O'Connor.

O'Connor, who began his football career at Villa United in County Waterford, was rated among one of the hottest talents in the Manchester United academy despite never playing a minute at senior level though he had been tipped by many to perhaps make his debut this season as he had been named in the Champions League squad for last year's tie against Barcelona, but never made the match-day squad.

Ahead of the Republic of Ireland's Euro under 21 qualifier against Armenia on Friday, manager Stephen Kenny praised the 'durable' defender for earning his recent transfer.

'It's a great achievement really. Lee played the 5 matches in Toulon, the only player that did that against Brazil and two matches against Mexico and he could have played another few he was so durable. He was terrific getting up and down that right flank all day and very good natural defender. He went to the European under 19 championships and played in midfield and captained the team.' Kenny also told Newstalk's Off The Ball, 'It will be hard at Celtic and he'll have to earn the right to play there.'

Another highly rated academy player to come out of the blue side of Manchester is pacey right-back Jeremie Frimbong. The Etihad is currently an embarrassment of football riches so the competition for places in the first team certainly may have contributed to his arrival at Celtic Park though he claims that it was the phone call from Neil Lennon that convinced him to join on a permanent deal.

Many fans in the past have dismissed signings like this as 'project players' though these signings, along with Luca Connell who signed from Bolton earlier in the summer, show great promise. They may not yet be ready for the first team but there were plenty of new signings that were thrown in to the cauldron of Ibrox, and they did not disappoint. The question then is has this been Celtic's shrewdest transfer window in the past few seasons?

Pints McLaughlin (@PintsMcLaughlin). Randalstown hoops

Posted by voc1967 on Thursday 05 September 2019 - 12:32:38 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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