It is no secret that Celtic need a mass overhaul over the next few months if they want to compete for the Scottish league title once again. While still not mathematically over, in reality this season is as good as gone and they might as well start the rebuilding process.
A number of top players like Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham are expected to leave the club in the summer or probably even this month. As a result, the Hoops will need to make sure that they make adequate and good enough signings to replace them.
Can they trust the current recruitment team to do that though? Their failure in the summer is not unknown and it is one of the biggest reasons for how bad this season has been. So, would it be wise to expect things to completely different the next time around?
Kris Commons has decided to put the lion’s share of the blame for their transfer failures on Nick Hammond’s shoulders. As reported by the Daily Record, he said:
"“Nick Hammond is the head of football operations at Celtic Park. He oversees the club’s scouting and recruitment department.“Was it Hammond who sanctioned a combined £10million outlay on Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti? Or a £2m loan fee plus a hefty wage packet for Shane Duffy?“The £3.5m wasted on Patryk Klimala is another case in point. Ultimately, Hammond is the man who must carry the can for this litany of woeful signings.”"
And he does not want Hammond to be the man in charge, when the rebuilding process does take place:
"“These are some of the key questions facing Dermot Desmond, the club’s major shareholder, who is going to have to plough millions of pounds into the club when he presses the reset button.Given his track record, I wouldn’t trust Hammond to spend a penny of that money when it comes to rebuilding this squad.”"
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Can Nick Hammond be trusted to oversee a successful Celtic rebuild?
To be honest, Commons does raise a very good point. The arrivals of Shane Duffy, Vasilis Barkas and Albian Ajeti in the summer have proven to be huge flops. And when it comes to Duffy, it is not even hard to see why he is struggling. Celtic’s style of football is just not suited to him. The jury is still out on the other two and let’s hope that they eventually come good for the club.
The one two signings that can be described as hits till now under Hammond are that of Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull. Both look like players who can be a huge part of this team going forward.
Now, the question is, can Celtic trust Hammond to be the man who successfully oversees the rebuild? His recent record does not suggest so and there have been question marks over his future in recent weeks as it looks like Dermot Desmond could be planning multiple changes over the course of the next several months.