Celtic’s new manager will have to revamp the team’s defensive structure, according to Mark Wilson.
Wilson, a right-back, made over 100 appearances for the Hoops between 2006 and 2012.
Celtic have endured a dismal season -they trail champions Rangers by 23 points in the table and crashed out of the Europa League in the group stages while their arch-rivals progressed to the Round of 16, and a large part of their struggles has been down to their torrid defending.
How much have Celtic struggled defensively?
Celtic conceded 19 goals over their six continental fixtures, a joint-competition-high (alongside Dundalk and Ludogorets).
They’ve shipped 29 in the Scottish Premiership, and though that equates to fewer than one per game, their defensive record pales in comparison to Rangers, who have let in just 13.
For Wilson, it’s clear where the outstanding problems lie for Neil Lennon’s long-term successor.
‘Celtic must address weakness Gerrard exploited’
“Any manager who is looking at this Celtic side and has done their homework throughout the season, not just against Rangers, can clearly see the weaknesses,” he told Sky Sports, via Daily Record.
“Steven Gerrard played on that and said after the match he played on that weakness of the backline and goalkeeper.
“That is the priority for any manager coming in – a goalkeeper and two full-backs and a centre-half.
“If they can keep Kris Ajer it’s a good start, but it’s a tall order.”
Who would be getting replaced in Celtic revamp?
Scott Bain (£540,000) is currently the no. 1 ‘keeper at Parkhead, having started the last 11 matches.
That makes about £14m worth of talent that could need replacing and upgrading.
Transfer Tavern verdict
Celtic need an overhaul this summer, but they can’t focus all their attention on the defence – let’s not forget that while Sunday’s Old Firm turned into a goal-fest, the Hoops had mustered just one goal in the previous four clashes against the Gers this term.
Odsonne Edouard could leave, forcing the club to try and repeat the trick of identifying a diamond in the rough up front, just like they did with Moussa Dembele before him.
Indeed, his mooted £15million sale could be crucial for fundraising and one would hope it can stretch to more than just a couple of defenders – if the club were to upgrade at the back but lose Edouard without an adequate replacement, we can’t see them properly challenging Rangers for the throne next term regardless of how many clean sheets they keep.
In other news, Celtic have been warned about offloading this midfielder.
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