This is an argument that I have seen talked about online quite a lot in the last few days.
From what I’ve seen, it seems to be a real 50/50 split between supporters – whether or not Celtic need to sign another winger in this summer’s transfer window.
Recent reports seem to indicate that manager Ange Postecoglou is still keen on bringing in another couple of signings, but apparently that would be another striker and probably another central midfield player.
But, many fans believe another wide player should be the priority.
As things stand, we have Jota and Maeda who predominantly play on the left wing, while Abada usually plays on the right, but if Ange decides to start with Maeda, this means that Jota normally comes over to the right and Abada is benched.
We also have James Forrest and Mikey Johnston in reserve, who can both play on either win, but Forrest would more often that not play on the right side and Johnston on the left.
Forrest has just signed a 3 year contract extension, so it is clear that Ange trusts the player and plans on using him, but despite this, many supporters don’t feel like Forrest is good enough to play for us anymore.
Likewise with Mikey Johnston, who seems to be constantly hampered by injury and when he has been given the chance to play in recent times, he has failed to impress.
He has also been linked with a loan move away from the club this summer, with Ronny Deila’s Standard Liege reportedly interested in the player, but that all appears to be rumours as things stand, nothing concrete.
I think it’s clear to see that we have three main wingers who start most games and are all very important members of our team.
Liel Abada was a revelation last season, and while not playing his best every game, still managed to pop up with many important goals for us, such as the late winner at home to Dundee Utd and the final goal in our 3-0 home victory over Sevco.
Next season he should be even better, now that he is settled in the country and playing for Celtic, he can surely only get better.
Likewise for Jota, who also had an incredible season with us. He will most likely be one of our star players in this coming season and get a barrel load of goals and assists to match.
He can also play on either wing, which is a huge bonus for manager Ange Postecoglou, although I think it would be fair to say that he is better on the left side, where he can cut in on his right foot and have a shot at goal.
And Daizen Maeda, who joined in the January transfer window, will also be very important to us in the coming season and will be expecting to start often.
He can also play as a striker and has an eye for goal, but his best position is definitely on the left wing, where he can use his speed to drive to the byline and get crosses into the box or play a neat pass into the feet of the striker.
He also has an extremely high work ethic and can run all day, which is fantastic for the full back as he always tracks back to help out the defence.
If everyone is fit, I don’t think we need another winger.
The problem comes when maybe two or more of our players get injured. And last season we had a lot of hamstring problems as players struggled to cope with the intensity demanded by the manager, which will hopefully subside this season as players should be more used to the physical demands of ‘Ange-Ball’.
But of course, we can’t simply just hope that we don’t get injuries, we should be prepared for that to be the case.
And what would happen if Abada and Jota for example both got injured and missed 6-8 weeks of football? Can we really rely on Forrest to come in and play every game in their absence, or Johnston?
I don’t think we can.
What is difficult though is getting a suitable back-up player in. Would the club really spend good money on another winger when we already have the likes of Jota and Abada that we have spent millions on? I doubt it.
So it’s going to be hard to find a player at the right price who will be good enough to come in and replace the like of Jota and Abad when needed, but isn’t going to cost us millions of pounds.
A loan or potentially a loan with an option to buy would probably be the only way we could get that.
Or perhaps we shouldn’t bring someone new in and instead look to our B team, where the likes of Owen Moffat or Rocco Vata could come in as a replacement? Or is it too soon for the younger players to potentially have to be relied on for significant periods of time?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.