The 2022-23 SPFL season kicks off this weekend with Aberdeen as the visitors for a Celtic Park Flag Day. Ange’s Champions Go Again.
This time last year was full of uncertainty. With the arrival of an unheralded Ange Postecoglou and a raft of player changes. In the end, the only certainty was that Celtic were worthy champions. Postecoglou had Celtic playing some of the best and most exciting football we have seen for a number of years. New players have become heroes.
The fact that two of last seasons stand out players. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota, both on-loan, were happy to sign long term contracts speaks volumes. We have added German Moritz Jenz on-loan with an option to buy. Jenz is so far the only loan, with Aaron Mooy joining as a free transfer after a spell in China.
Benjamin Siegrist also joined on a free, a solid back up to Joe Hart. Alexandro Bernabei arrived from Argentinian side Lanus, and already looks a good addition to battle Greg Taylor at left back. Ange has said he will add more if the opportunity arrives.
On the way out of Celtic Park, has been a few players on loan, Liam Scales, Ismaila Soro, Osaze Urhoghide, Adam Montgomery, Connor Hazard and Vasilis Barkas. Scales, Montgomery and Hazard are the only ones likely to be back next season.
We also lost Nir Bitton, Tom Rogic, Karamolo Dembele and Boli Bolingoli from last seasons first team. Bitton and Rogic are the only players out of all who have left who would have contributed this season.
We can still expect some movement out with the likes of Mikey Johnston and Albian Ajeti being linked with moves away.
Aberdeen will be looking to improve on last season, with former Celt Jim Goodwin now able to stamp his authority in the squad. Ten new players have arrived and plenty have departed.
They have lost a few players who were first team regulars, long serving Andy Considine left on a free and they received big money for Lewis Ferguson who moved to Bologna and Calvin Ramsay who moved to Liverpool. The Dons will be targeting a return to the top six.
All the talk before Ange arrived was that his teams take a while to get used to his high intensity play and its the second season where things really click! If that is true then we are in for an amazing season as Ange’s Champions Go Again..
Words Mick O’ Kane
Pics Martin Donaldson