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Celtic must strengthen five key areas this summer

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It's hard to argue that after winning the SPFL championship last season, Celtic just need to maintain the status quo.  The SPFL is really a one-horse race these days with the continued absence of Rangers as title challengers.

However, Celtic didn't have it all their own way last season.  Aberdeen posed a serious title challenge for much of the campaign. The path to the title wasn't as comfortable as Celtic's fans would have liked.  And the least said about Celtic's European matches the better.

So what signings would help Celtic redress this balance? We look at five signings Celtic need to make...

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A quality central defender

Celtic have already lost one central defender in Jason Denayer. The loanee has returned to his parent club, Manchester City. He was a mainstay in Celtic's defence last season and proved vital at both ends, chipping in with some goals.

He has been replaced with fellow Belgian Dedryk Boyata, who ironically was signed from Manchester City too. However, he is an unknown quantity and there are some doubts about whether he will adequately replace Denayer.

With rumours about Virgil Van Dijk leaving Celtic too, acquiring a quality central defender is a must.

A good replacement left-back

Celtic really just have one proper left back in Emilio Izaguirre. Thankfully, the Honduran left back does not get injured often. However, Celtic don't perform as well when he is not playing and those who have been asked to replace him have not been up to the task.

It is vital that Celtic sign a left back to compete and it looks like they are trying to, having made a bid for Mitchell Dijks, who signed for Ajax instead.

A good backup goalkeeper

Celtic certainly did well last year with the signing of current goalkeeper Craig Gordon. Backup goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska has left the club, leaving just young Leo Fasan in reserve.

A club of Celtic's stature needs two strong goalkeepers so it would be expected that an additional gloveman is on the radar.

A defensive central midfielder

For European games, Celtic need protection for their defence. They have not had a proper defensive midfielder since Victor Wanyama left for Southampton. If Celtic want to qualify for Champions League football and not just make up the numbers, then a strong defensive midfielder is an absolutely vital signing.

A solid target man

Celtic's recent signing record is good for all positions except up front. Teemu Pukki and Amido Balde have recently left the club after disappointing, leaving Anthony Stokes, Leigh Griffiths and Stefan Scepovic as recognised forward men.

Only Leigh Griffiths gets pass marks for his goal tally last season and none of the three are a big target man or can perform well as a lone striker.

Someone in the mould of Jelle Vossen, who plays for Genk and has been linked with a move to Celtic, would be an idea acquisition.  Or perhaps former striker Gary Hooper might be enticed back to the club from Norwich.  

If Celtic do make these types of signings, then surely they would win the SPFL championship comfortably and make a mark in Europe. Their fans are demanding and will only accept the best.

What was your assessment of Celtic's season? Let us know below!

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