Celtic squad is unarguably the best in the land, with their starting XI capable of holding its own against a couple of European big wigs.
Over the summer transfer window, the Bhoys made 5 signings, strengthening their midfield and attack, but a failed move for Ajax Cape Town centre-back Rivaldo Coetzee means manager Brendan Rodgers wasn’t able to shore up his defence.
Former Celtic star and ex-England international Chris Sutton isn’t impressed with the huge risk the club has taken as a result of not signing a defender.
According to the 4-time Scottish Premier League-winning striker, “I have to say, I am utterly miffed at the failure to sign a centre-back in the final week of the window. Celtic, to my mind, have taken a big, big risk with this.
“Rodgers obviously wanted to strengthen the position. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have gone after Rivaldo Coetzee.
“When the deal for the South African broke down on medical grounds, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that Celtic were going to go and get someone else in as cover. The fact they didn’t, or couldn’t, puzzles me.
“You can from this situation that Rodgers clearly sees Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata as his first-pick pair and believes they can do the job at the highest level.
“Fair enough, they are both still improving and might well be up to operating at that elite level. But surely it’s taking a big gamble banking on the fact that the two of them will actually be available throughout the campaign.”
“Boyata has not had a good record with injuries and it is going to be very tough for him to come straight out of the treatment room and play in the Champions League group stage.
“The Belgian is going to have to hit the ground running and that’s a pretty big ask because I think the jury is still out on him in any case. Simunovic has also had injury issues.
“The Bosnian international has been a regular recently and maybe his problems have cleared up, but it’s still a risk.”
Celtic resume from the international break with a visit to Hamilton Academicals on Friday, while they host PSG in their Champions League group stage opener 4 days later.
With Rodgers sweating over the fitness of Boyata, and Simunovic likely to be unavailable for weekend’s league clash, the trio of Erik Sviatchenko, Nir Bitton and Mikael Lustig are his only options for selection. How they would fare against a PSG side that boast of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe remains to be seen.
While Celtic can still successfully defend their local treble with the current crop of defenders at their helm, they are most likely to struggle in Europe again having failed to add much needed depth to their backline.