Celtic were knocked out of the Europa league on Thursday and after an aggregate score line of 3-1 defeat in the hands of Zenit St. Peterburg. The Hoops went into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage only to be dealt with a 3-0 loss in Russia.
This has called for concerned among pundits and fans as they sight lack of leaders in the squad as a reason. Chris Sutton who is a legend of the club is one who has voiced his opinion about the current Celtic squad. He believes that more mature and experienced players need to join the club and has call on Brendan Rodgers to sign leaders in the next transfer window.
In recent time, Rodgers signings have had a tone of ability, prospect and talent in them than leadership quality as a reason for signing them.
This could be seen in his acquisition of Charly Musonda, Olivier Ntcham and Eboue Kouassi who have just been prospects and no real leaders among them. When Rodgers initially joined Celtic, one of the key players in his squad was Kolo Toure who has past his footballing prime but offer more in his leadership prowess to the squad as a whole.
The only player who possess the trait of a leader in the team is Scott Brown. This is a factor that has always been common in all Celtic’s past managers.
One key manager that had abundant leaders during his time at Celtic was Martin O’Neil. He had the likes of Chris Sutton, Johan Mjallby, Neil Lennon and others but the current Celtic can boast of that.
After the defeat, Sutton said as quoted by Daily Record: “Now the club’s recruitment under Brendan must be looked at closely. If you include Kristoffer Ajer – although many would link that signing to Deila – Brendan has brought in 17 players.”
“Of those Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair have been a success – albeit they haven’t hit the heights of last season – and there’s just one leader among them in Kolo Toure.
Why aren’t Celtic finding the players they used to? They’re sitting with £31million in the bank so it’s time to invest some of it on quality acquisitions. If they want to go to the next level then they’ll need to.”
Sutton also talked about Rodgers complaints of not being able to attract top players due to the low competitive nature of Scotland and the turf are not tenable excuses enough to not do well in Europe.
On a general note, Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic side have to find a way to break into Europe than dwell in their comfort zone where they will almost always win the Scottish league.