Celtic: Neil Lennon wants to further trim squad

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
Despite 11 players leaving, Neil Lennon still wants more to go
Despite 11 players leaving, Neil Lennon still wants more to go

Neil Lennon says he wants to further trim down his Celtic squad despite the departure of 11 players this summer.

Defenders Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli and midfielder Luca Connell have been the only arrivals so far, with the manager primarily looking to add two right-backs.

Lennon is also keen to bolster his squad with more experienced players, while offloading some others.

"I think there is a bit of trimming to do," he said.

"We want real quality in all the positions, we don't want players on the periphery of the club on a decent wage being left out of things.

"I understand why we had a biggish squad but it was maybe too big for my liking so in terms of trimming it I think it's important we do that. A smaller group is more intimate."

Dorus de Vries, Dedryck Boyata, Marvin Compper, Emilio Izaguirre, Mikael Lustig, Christian Gamboa, Scott Allan and Youssouf Mulumbu all left when their contracts expired.

And Filip Benkovic, Jeremy Toljan and Oliver Burke returned to their parent clubs after loan spells.

Lennon says adding players with experience is a priority this summer, with a particular focus on the right-back area following the departure of Lustig.

"We try and narrow it down to the quality of player that we want that fits the right profile - the age, the quality of the player is important, the attributes we want from a full back is difficult to find," he said.

"The club has been looking for a right-back for quite a serious period of time now and ideally we would like to bring two in.

"We want a bit of experience in certain important positions that we will look to add - players of around about mid to late twenties who have got the quality we are looking for.

"It's a slow process. A lot of teams are just back and are still weighing up their squads as well. It's not as if you can do your business straight away, these things take time."

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