Charlie Nicholas’ claim about the new Celtic signings can only be described as ‘outrageous’ but at this point nobody should be surprised.
For a man who came through the Celtic youth setup and spent nine seasons as part of the first-team in two separate stints, Charlie Nicholas sure seems like someone who does not care too much about his relationship with the club and its fans. In fact, these days he is best known for his outrageous comments about the Hoops.
Now, it is no secret that Celtic have enjoyed a spectacular transfer window. After managing to extend Mohamed Elyounoussi’s loan deal for another season, they managed to sign Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti and David Turnbull for a combined fee of around £12 million. The capture of Shane Duffy and Diego Laxalt on season-long loans just made it better.
But Charlie Nicholas appears to believe that the Rangers had the better transfer window. As reported by the Daily Record, he wrote in his column in the Express:
I said Celtic would go cheap in their pursuit of a left-back. I knew they wouldn’t spend money on a defender that Neil Lennon has been ever so patient for. I don’t think Lennon has been given much of a helping hand, if I am being honest.
He had to work double time to get anything out of so-called wealthy Celtic. I’d imagine he’ll be pretty annoyed this morning. I am sure he will put on a brave face but I don’t think he will have got anything close to what he was looking for. Albian Ajeti will get him goals but there are still question marks in other areas of the Celtic team.
Rangers must be looking at it thinking that they got the better of the deals. Celtic were a stronger side last season. The main positive for Lennon, right, is that all his main players are staying, although I am not convinced Olivier Ntcham, Kris Ajer and Tom Rogic are happy.
In this mad season we have been looking short-term with the rest of the clubs because there is no real money out there.
Now while Celtic not spending money would be true for most transfer windows, this time around these accusations make no sense. In the middle of a global pandemic where most clubs are going through a financial crisis, the club have managed to bring in five good quality players, managed to get rid of a lot of fringe players and have not let go of any of the stars. In fact, this is the best transfer window that the club have had in years.
On the other hand, while doing some respectable business of their own, none of Rangers’ signings have set the league on fire and looked like world beaters. In fact, it is James Tavernier who is their highest scorer at the moment. That should tell you about their struggles up top.
But of course, nobody is surprised at Charlie Nicholas’ comments. He has been making them for so long that they do not have much shock value left in them anymore. Just a few chuckles here and there.