Celtic recruitment flawed under Brendan Rodgers - Kris Commons

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers with striker Odsonne Edouard (right)
Celtic paid a record transfer fee to land Odsonne Edouard (right) over the summer

Most of Brendan Rodgers' signings have "not made any impact" and there is a "recruitment issue" at Celtic, says former midfielder Kris Commons.

Rodgers voiced frustration at the lack of new faces following defeat to AEK Athens in Champions League qualifying.

But Commons points to the "£25m" his former boss has spent since May 2016.

"Whoever is in control of bringing in players needs to have a look at themselves as the quality is not good enough," Commons told BBC Scotland.

Lee Congerton has been the Scottish champions' head of recruitment since March 2017 - an appointment described as "outstanding" by chief executive Peter Lawwell.

Yet of the players who started Tuesday's 2-1 loss in Greece - which confirmed a 3-2 aggregate defeat - only defender Jack Hendry has been signed during his tenure.

Midfielder Olivier Ntcham was the only other member of the starting XI to have joined after Rodgers' arrival.

"The quality isn't good enough for a starting place in the 11," Commons said.

"Everyone says he's been crying out for defenders, but he signed two goalkeepers in Dorus de Vries and Scott Bain, two centre-halves in Marvin Compper and Jack Hendry, right-back Cristian Gamboa, he's just re-signed Emilio Izaguirre...

"He's had the funds to get good players but they're not making any impact on the side. He has three or four that pass the mark - Scott Sinclair, Odsonne Edouard, Moussa Dembele and Olivier Ntcham.

"Peter Lawwell does not have a blank chequebook. Rodgers has spent around £25m on transfers - without signing-on fees, wages, agent fees - in 24 months. Lawwell probably thinks he's given him enough."

'Boyata in the driving seat'

Dedryck Boyata was among those missing from the defeat in Athens, with Rodgers suggesting the defender was fit, while the Belgian international maintained he was "not 100% operational".

Commons played alongside Boyata and was surprised at Rodgers "pretty much calling his player a liar".

"If Dedryck says he's not fit, he's not fit. He's not that sort of character," he said. "Rodgers is probably saying 'we need you, even if you're 80% fit, we need you'.

"It's a strange one, because they've turned down really good money for him. He wasn't first choice, but he's gone away and had a good World Cup. His stock has gone up, he's in the driving seat."

Defeat at Hearts preceded the loss to AEK, the first time Rodgers has lost back-to-back games with Celtic.

"There will be more pressure now," said Commons. "People will fancy taking them all the way.

"They need to get heads together, they've got some very important games coming up. All eyes will be on the 2 September game when Steven Gerrard brings Rangers to Celtic Park - there could be fireworks."

CELTIC SIGNINGS
2018/192017/182016/17
Odsonne Edouard - PSG - £9.27mOlivier Ntcham - Man City - £4.5mScott Sinclair - Aston Villa - £3.69m
Scott Bain - Dundee - freeCharly Musonda - Chelsea - Loan (£2.25m)Eboue Kouassi - FK Krasnodar - £3.15m
Emilio Izaguirre - Al Feiha - freeJonny Hayes - Aberdeen - £1.32mCristian Gamboa - West Brom - £1.08m
Jack Hendry - Dundee - £1.23mKristoffer Ajer - IK Start - £540k
Marvin Compper - RB Leipzig - £1.03mKolo Toure - Liverpool - free
Lewis Morgan - St Mirren - £306kMoussa Dembele - Fulham - undisclosed compensation fee
Kundai Benyu - Ipswich - freeDorus de Vries - Nottingham Forest - free
Odsonne Edouard - PSG - loan
Patrick Roberts - Man City - loan
Scott Bain - Dundee - loan
CELTIC DEPARTURES
2018/192017/182016/17
Stuart Armstrong - Southampton - £7.16mEmilio Izaguirre - Al-Feiha - £1.26mStefan Johansen - Fulham - £2.07m
Erik Sviatchenko - FC Midtjylland - £1.03mLiam Henderson - Bari - £108kStefan Scepovic - Getafe - £1.08m
Sam Wardrop - Dundee Utd - freeEoghan O'Connell - Bury - freeCarlton Cole - Sacramento FC - free
Jamie Lindsay - Ross County - freePaul McMullan - Dundee Utd - freeStuart Findlay - Newcastle Utd - free
Nadir Ciftci - Genclerbirligi - freeConnor McManus - Morton - freeMichael Duffy - Dundalk - free
Jamie McCart - Inverness CT - freeLogan Bailly - Mouscron - freeCharlie Mulgrew - Blackburn Rovers - free
Joe Thomson - Dunfermline - freeLeo Fasan - Bury - freeAnthony Stokes - Blackburn Rovers - free
Efe Ambrose - Hibs - free
Gary Mackay-Steven - Aberdeen - undisclosed
Saidy Janko - Saint-Etienne - undisclosed* all fees from transfermarkt.com

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