Brendan Rodgers has admitted his discontent with Celtic’s summer transfer business in the same week the club announced record profits.
The Celtic boss claimed every manager would want more signings, but he made it clear he was not satisfied with what transpired.
Celtic announced a record annual profit of £40.7million on Monday and revealed they had had £72.3m “net of bank borrowings” on June 30 this year, although they have since invested £15million on transfer fees.
The Scottish champions signed nine players this summer, but when asked if he was content with the business, Rodgers said: “No. No, I think if you ask any manager they will always be wanting more, of course.
“But we work with the players that’s here. I’m not saying that in any disrespectful way, I think every manager will tell you they maybe wished they could have done one or two more signings.
“But the window closed, we had the players we had in and I’m a coaching manager, and we will work with the very, very best players at our disposal to make our performance level the best we can possibly be.
“And now we are preparing already for the January window and the summer window.”
Celtic signed seven players on permanent deals this summer – Kwon Hyeok-kyu, Marco Tilio, Yang Hyun-jun, Odin Thiago Holm, Maik Nawrocki, Gustaf Lagerbielke and Luis Palma – and brought in Paulo Bernardo and Nat Phillips on loan.
Of those, only Palma and Lagerbielke started in Tuesday’s opening Champions League defeat by Feyenoord and the Swedish defender was sent off alongside substitute Holm.
Outside of Phillips, who came in late in the window after a spate of injuries to central defenders, the average age of the new arrivals was 21 when they signed.
Celtic lost three regulars from their treble-winning squad in Jota, Carl Starfelt and Aaron Mooy, and now have a larger but arguably less experienced squad.
Rodgers said: “Listen, if you look at the strategy of the club, it’s signing the younger players to develop and improve.
“I think I have said it before here, that to maximise that potential, of course, you need that balance in your squad.
“You need quality and you need experience, and that will obviously help and support potential that you have.
“So that’s something that hopefully over the course of my time here that the squad can regenerate into that way.”
Rodgers admitted pre-match in Rotterdam that his team were not at “peak Celtic”, but there were positive signs during the game before a soft opening goal from a free-kick and the two red cards undermined their chances.
When asked how close they were to clicking into gear, Rodgers said: “It’s time. A lot of young players coming into the squad, coming into the team.
“It’s a different team even from when I agreed to come in, looking at the players who have moved on and the players we have brought into the club.
“It takes that little bit of time and obviously when you are missing key players, key players can influence the level at which you play the game.
“But thankfully the likes of Reo Hatate…. he had another 55-60 minutes the other night, so that’s really good for him in terms of match practice because he has not played so much. When he gets up to speed, he will show he is a fantastic player.
“A few others are coming back a little bit later, but I would anticipate us getting better as the season goes on.”
Phillips remains a doubt for Saturday’s trip to face Livingston in the cinch Premiership after missing Tuesday’s European clash in Rotterdam.
“Nat had a heavy roll on his ankle last weekend,” Rodgers said. “We will give him another 24 hours. He has been out on the pitch so we will just assess it from there.”
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