Celtic assistant manager John Collins believes that some players will leave the club in the summer transfer window due to the large size of the squad.
With the most recent signing of Kristoffer Ajer, the midfield particularly has swelled in size, however, there are some decisions to be made with players contracts running out.
Many fans are already irritated that Scott Allan and Ryan Christie are yet to get a run in the team, while Patrick Roberts was brought in on an 18-month loan but is currently stuck in the development squad.
Even players on loan such as Anthony Stokes or Liam Henderson will have to fight to win a place back in the current starting line-up.
In Celtic’s pre-match press conference, Collins stated the team’s problems, as quoted by the Daily Mail:
Come the end of the season there will be players who will move out. But at this moment in time it is a big squad, everyone is fighting to be in the squad and that’s a good problem to have for the manager, myself and the coaching team.It is always the challenge.
Better having too many players than not enough. You can’t keep them completely happy. I would be telling a lie, everybody would be telling a lie if they think everybody is happy at a football club. You have 11 starters who are very happy, the substitutes who are a little bit unhappy, and you have ones who are sitting in the stand who aren’t happy. That is the same the world over, every club in the world.
It is difficult for players when you are not playing, we understand that. They are human beings as well as footballers but you have to make sure that they take disappointment in the right way and stay focused. The most important thing is that the players realise that to get into the team they have to train well, stay focused and remain positive.
Collins also commented on the most recent player looking for a first team start, Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts, who has impressed some with his performances with the Celtic development squad.
[Roberts is] closer this week than last week. He has trained very well and scored a couple of goals for the development team and made one so he is closer. Good news.
Speaking of Ajer, Collins warned that the Norwegian isn’t going to get any preferential treatment when he arrives:
Young Kristoffer did very well last month, 17-years-old, he fitted in very well on the training pitch and showed lots of composure, calm on the ball – a good football player. He will have to come in and prove himself like any other player.
However, the amount of players overall in the squad will still be a massive headache for Ronny Deila and his staff towards the end of the season, but it seems the Norwegian is sticking with what he knows for now.