Sport Soccer

Thursday 8 December 2016

Lennon eager to strengthen Celtic's squad with seasoned campaigners

Published 12/07/2011 | 05:00

Celtic manager Neil Lennon admits he would like to add some experience to his squad despite being broadly happy with the players he has assembled.

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Lennon achieved success in the transfer market last summer, notably with the purchases of Emilio Izaguirre, Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper.

Izaguirre was the oldest of the three by two years at 24 when Lennon signed him and all were relatively unknown in Scotland.

Lennon has continued to recruit younger players this year, bringing in 19-year-old Wales full-back Adam Matthews, 20-year-old Kenya international Victor Wanyama and defender Kelvin Wilson (25).

But he feels some more experience is preferable if he is to add further to his pool.

Lennon is in the market for a goalkeeper after last season's No 1 Fraser Forster returned to Newcastle following his loan spell.

The Celtic manager agreed that Craig Gordon would fit the bill, when the name was put to him last weekend, but quickly qualified that by admitting the club might struggle to afford the Scotland 'keeper, who has a year left on his Sunderland contract.

Imaginative

"We have to be a little bit more imaginative in where we go and exploit different markets," Lennon said. "Last season, we brought in players who were under the radar who we felt would enhance us as a team, and have done.

"And we have done the same this season. We have brought in Victor Wanyama and we feel we have found a really good player as well.

"But we don't always want to go down the youth route. We are looking to bring maybe one or two experienced players as well into the squad.

"But I am pretty happy with the squad at the minute. It needs tinkering a little bit but I would be happy to get just one or two more in."

Lennon was speaking ahead of the club's last friendly of their pre-season tour, against Melbourne Victory tomorrow.

Celtic showed significant improvement following their opening defeat by Central Coast Mariners when they beat Perth Glory 2-0 on Saturday.

Their ranks are likely to be strengthened further by the return of Sweden defender Daniel Majstorovic and Greece striker Georgios Samaras, who will captain the team, after they were given extra time off following international commitments.

"I think this will be the toughest game of the tour by all accounts, so it will be another competitive game," Lennon said.

"We have brought a big squad and we want to give as many players as much game time as they can, so there will be a few changes from the team that played against Perth."

Irish Independent

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