After writing history by winning a consecutive domestic treble, Scottish champions Celtic will be flying very high.
It was yet another excellent campaign for Brendan Rodgers’ men as they extended their domestic domination and the manager will be hoping to sustain their superiority in the upcoming campaign as well.
The Hoops’ European campaign was a bit of a downer though as they failed to achieve significant progress in both Champions League and Europa League. This is an area that the club will want to improve.
Celtic has a strong, solid squad with good overall balance but there remain a few areas that could do with some reinforcement over the summer, especially the defence. That being said, here’s how Celtic might line up next season after completing two important summer deals.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Craig Gordon (GK)
The veteran goalkeeper is expected to retain the No.1 spot next season, despite the arrival of Scott Bain from Dundee FC on a permanent basis.
Mikael Lustig (RB)
The Swedish right-back had a few ups and downs over the course of the campaign but his experience and proven pedigree mean he should once again start the 2018/19 campaign as first-choice ahead of youth prodigy Anthony Ralston.
Chancel Mbemba (CB)
The 23-year-old Newcastle United defender is being heavily linked with a move to the Parkhead and if signed, will prove to be a smart addition. Mbemba, despite not having played much this season, is a talented defender who has performed ably when given a chance. Young, strong and good with the ball at his feet, he will be a good fit at Celtic.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
The 20-year-old Norwegian international has been the breakout star of the 2017/18 season for the Hoops. Ajer, with his mature and composed displays in the heart of the defence, has established himself as a key member and should retain that status going into the new season.
Kieran Tierney (LB)
Despite a number of clubs circling around the exceptionally talented full-back, Kieran Tierney is expected to stay at the Celtic Park come next season. The 20-year-old has continued his meteoric rise with another brilliant campaign that culminated with him winning his 3rd Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award. Will once again have a major role to play.
Scott Brown (CM)
The Celtic skipper enjoyed one of his best campaigns with the Hoops and was deservedly named the Scottish PFA Player of the Year. He might be getting old but his influence on this Celtic side is immense and it will stay so for the upcoming season as well.
Olivier Ntcham (CM)
The Frenchman has had a solid debut campaign and ended it in style, scoring in the cup finals against Motherwell this weekend. Ntcham seems to have struck up a good understanding alongside captain Brown and the partnership will only flourish next time out.
James Forrest (RW)
Despite a downslide in form towards the end of the campaign, Scottish winger James Forrest enjoyed a fine season where he managed to register 17 goals and 10 assists. He has the spot on the right flank nailed down for himself.
Tom Rogic (CAM)
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder recently signed a new five-year extension at the club and should continue to play a major role in the season to come, with his intelligent playmaking abilities and the eye for goal.
Callum McGregor (LW)
The Scotland international has well and truly established himself as an indispensable member of Rodgers’ side. His versatility and flexibility have meant he has been used on the left flank a lot recently. Having impressed in the position, he could be set to make it his own next season.
Abel Hernandez (ST)
The Uruguayan forward has emerged as a potential target for the Hoops, with his contract at Hull City set to expire in a month. A proven goalscorer at both club and international level, Hernandez will prove to be an excellent acquisition for Celtic, especially considering that he will be available on a free transfer.