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LEGEND PINPOINTS ERROR CELTIC MUST ‘RECTIFY’

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CELTIC legend David Hay believes patience is the watchword before Neil Lennon brings in faces in this transfer window.

Hoops fans are clamouring for signings and the Hoops boss has already admitted he is interested in four players to strengthen his squad.

The Irishman acknowledged that a striker is a must to help take the scoring burden off Odsonne Edouard who has practically carried the frontline for over a year.

Leigh Griffiths came off the radar in November 2018 with personal issues and has netted only three since his return this season.

Vakoun Issouf Bayo, who was signed for £2million this time last year, has struggled with injuies and loss of form and has contributed only one strike, an effort in the 5-0 win over Championship side Partick Thistle in the Betfred League Cup-tie at Parkhead in September.

Former manager and player Hay, now a club ambassador, told the Evening Times: “Given that Mikey Johnston has had frequent niggles throughout this season, Neil Lennon may be looking to strengthen on the flanks, but the priority for me has to be a striker. They need at least one – and perhaps two.

“The supporters may be getting a little bit edgy and that is to be expected. The issues up front have been known for some time, so people may have expected a new forward to walk through the Celtic Park doors just after the bells on Hogmanay.

“It doesn’t always work that way and Celtic may have to bide their time to get the right signing – or signings – in.

“The January window is always an important one for Celtic in that they have to make signings with an eye on the summer European qualifiers. It’s about trying to get players in who can make an impact in the short term for this season, but balancing that with a need to get players bedded in for the early games in July.

“It may be a cliché, but there is no getting away from the fact that the winter window is difficult. Prices seem to be higher mid-season and availability is lessened.

“In hindsight, Celtic are paying the price for not bringing in another striker in the summer. There was never any guarantee over the fitness of Leigh Griffiths while Bayo was untested at this level.

“I’m sure that Neil Lennon will be looking to rectify that mistake soon and I’m certain he will have something up his sleeve to take the pressure off Odsonne Edouard.

“They have to rectify that error in this window. They have the financial clout to do it and I expect Celtic to make a statement of intent in this window going into the crucial second half of the season.”

The champions return from their mid-winter training HQ in Dubai with a Scottish Cup-tie against Thistle at Firhill to play a week tonight and then they take on Kilmarnock in the Premiership the following Wednesday before hosting Ross County at the weekend.

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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