Scottish Premiership: Celtic preview - Transfers | Key player | Can they do the quadruple treble? | Prediction

Can Celtic make it nine in a row? Picture: SNS
Can Celtic make it nine in a row? Picture: SNS
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Celtic go into the Scottish Premiership season searching for nine in a row and the quadruple treble. Joel Sked looks at how Neil Lennon's men are shaping up for the new campaign.

Manager

Neil Lennon continues as the Parkhead boss after being handed the job on a permanent basis in the aftermath of the club's Scottish Cup victory over Hearts at Hampden Park in May.

Last season

Celtic won the treble treble - an incredible feat - but did so at their lowest ebb over the last three seasons as they missed out on Champions League football before Brendan Rodgers defected to Leicester City which led to Lennon returning to steer the club over the line.

Transfers

IN: Christopher Jullien (Toulouse, £7m), Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (Rapid Vienna, £3m), Hatem Abd Elhamed (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, £1.6m), Lucas Connell (Bolton Wanderers, £250k)

OUT: Scott Allan (Hibernian), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Marvin Compper (Duisburg), P.J. Crossan (Dumbarton), Mikael Lustig (Gent), Filip Benkovic (Leicester City, end of loan), Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion, end of loan), Jeremy Toljan (Borussia Dortmund, end of loan), Timo Weah (Paris St. Germain, end of loan), Dorus De Vries (retired), Cristian Gamboa, Emilio Izaguirre, Youssouf Mulumbu

Most interesting recruit

It can only be Christopher Jullien. Arriving from Toulouse, the 26-year-old became the second most expensive signing in the club's history.

French football expert Matt Spiro noted the player was "caught out for several goals in the first part of last season" and has a weakness with regards to turning. However, arriving in Scotland from a superior league with a commanding 6ft5in presence should see him settle in.

There have been comparisons to Virgil van Dijk. While that may be stretching it a bit too much it will be interesting to see if it is a case of Jullien plus one other after spending a considerable amount on the centre-back.

Key player

Callum McGregor. Next.

The midfielder can do everything. When he is handed the keys to the midfield Celtic play better.

"Lennon said: "He’d be probably the last one I’d want to leave, along with a couple of others, or even be unsettled at this stage. He’s pivotal to what we want to do going forward.

"Callum's just brilliant. He’s just absolutely brilliant. The more he churns them out the more people take him for granted but I don’t take his performances for granted.

"It’s a hard thing to do what Callum does, week in, week out at such a high level."

No player played more minutes in European football last season than McGregor.

What do they still need?

The Hoops are well stocked for goals in the final third and have plenty options in wide areas. A central midfielder is on the wishlist, someone who is either a very player with plenty of promise in the mould of David Turnbull or someone who can help elevate the side on the European stage.

But the key area for strengthening remains in defence. Hatem Abd Elhamed has been signed and can play right-back, but having played centre-back for a most part of two seasons another full-back is desirable.

The question: Is Neil Lennon the right man to deliver ten in a row?

Celtic fans are desperate for ten in a row. In addition to the treble treble success, it would set them apart in Scottish football. That's why there were concerns about Neil Lennon being given the job on a permanent basis.

While a steady pair of interim hands, there was, and still is, a feeling that the club needed to land a manager with greater gravitas away from Scottish football. There is nothing more enticing for Lennon than being the manager who starts and finishes the ten in a row.

But as seen with Hibs, that irascible character exists within him. When the going gets tough does he have the serenity to guide Celtic through it. And how will the likes of Callum McGregor react to being called out in public like some Hibs stars were - if Lennon chooses such a method.

Any other business

The Celtic club shop. The release of the garish third shirt shows they will sell anything.

Prediction

1st

READ MORE: Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen preview -Transfers | Key player | Can they catch Old Firm? | Prediction

*Transfers courtesy of Narey's Topepoker