On New Years eve, Freddie Ljungberg was unveiled as Celtic’s first signing of the transfer window. He was signed as a free agent after previously playing for Chicago Fire.
At international level, Ljungberg won 75 caps, while netting 15 goals and also achieving the honour of becoming captain. During his time in international football he represented Sweden at three European Championships as well as two World Cups. Whilst at club level, he will perhaps be best known for being an integral part of Arsenal’s famous invincibles, who managed to complete the 2003-4 Premier League season without being beaten. Off the pitch he will most probably be known for “those” Calvin Klein adverts, which I will refrain from posting to keep this family friendly.
All the above, apart from the Calvin Klein business, suggests that he will be a success at Celtic, but he does carry some negatives. At 33, many feel that he might not be able to contribute as much as he did in his heyday, especially after his spells at his last three clubs; West Ham, Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire have proved largely unsuccessful.
With only a few days left in the transfer window Celtic signed attacking midfielder/winger, Kris Commons from Derby, in a deal worth 300k. Commons only had 6 months left on his Derby contract and was attracting the attention of Glasgow rivals, Rangers, but he chose to move to Celtic, after they matched his 20k a week demands.
Kris Commons is slowly becoming a regular for Scotland, after making his debut against Macedonia in 2008. A match in which he defied the 40 degree Macedonian heat to come on as a substitute wearing a long sleeve shirt. His best performance in a Scotland shirt came against the Faroe Islands where he scored and was also named man of the match.
In addition to the big name signings above, 17 year old striker, Tony Watt moved from Airdrie United to Celtic, in a 3 year deal that is thought to be worth 100k. I don’t expect to see Watt in a Celtic shirt any time soon, but he is definitely a player to watch out for in future.
Going the other way, we seen Jos Hooiveld join Copenhagen on loan and Milan Misun being released, to eventually join Swindon, but the most interesting departure was Olivier Kapo.
French international, Kapo, who was a free agent, originally signed on a 3 month contract where he was told that if he proved his worth to Celtic, they would extend that contract into 2012. The deal was such that he wouldn’t receive any pay during his probationary period.
In January, at the end of the trial period, Celtic apparently went back on their word and offered Kapo a contract till the end of the current season, with his wages on one third of what was originally promised. Kapo refused to accept this reduced deal and left the club.
Following Kapo’s departure, Lennon was quick to refute the claims against Celtic and claimed that due to injury, they were not able to fully assess what he would bring to the squad. As is often the case in these circumstances, we will probably never know what really happened.
Although the transfer window has now shut, there is still the possibility of clubs bringing in a free agent. With the news that Andy Webster has been released by Rangers and Celtic needing some backup in defence, he could be a player that will interest Lennon.