Celtic news: Chris Sutton urges Neil Lennon to replace 13-cap ace and takes dig at Nick Hammond

Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon

Celtic look set to miss out on winning their 10th consecutive Scottish Premiership title.

After losing the Old Firm derby last weekend, Neil Lennon’s side are already a mammoth 19 points behind their fierce rivals.

They could cut the gap to 10 points should they win their three games in hand but, regardless, it looks almost impossible that they will reel Rangers in.

Chris Sutton believes that a major reason for their struggles this season has been the poor recruitment.

Celtic spent big on the likes of Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti and Shane Duffy last summer.

Chris Sutton

And Sutton has taken aim at Nick Hammond, Celtic’s head of football operations, for the club’s poor recruitment.

“We talk about pressure on Neil Lennon and of course there is, but what about the pressure on Nicky Hammond?” He started.

“The fact you look at the situation where Celtic have signed a goalkeeper [Barkas] for millions of pounds who hasn’t made a save this season,” he said, per the Daily Record.

“Jullien is a massive loss, but the fact Celtic don’t have a keeper of authority leaves them extremely vulnerable.

“I think Celtic can make do [without a new centre-half]. I’m not saying it’s perfect.”

Sutton has torn into Barkas, who has earned 13 caps for Greece.

Vasilis Barkas

The goalkeeper has struggled since signing from AEK Athens for £5 million last summer.

And Sutton believes he needs to be replaced this month.

“The position they can’t make do with is a goalkeeper,” he continued.

“It’s probably sickening for Celtic fans watching Fraser Forster keep a clean sheet for Southampton against Liverpool on Tuesday with his presence and authority. It’s a priority position.

“It’s been interesting this season with the chopping and changing. He’s my No.1, now he’s my No.1. We’ve had Conor Hazard, Scott Bain. Barkas was chopped and now he’s back in.

Vasilis Barkas

“There’s nothing to suggest that somehow their form is going to be good enough to warrant playing in goal.

“It’s been a waste of money on Barkas. What have we seen to make us think he’s going to turn it around? If he does, good luck to him.

“But I just don’t see it, so bringing in a keeper is the priority in January and also hanging onto what he’s got.”

Whether Celtic decide to buy a goalkeeper this January or not, one thing is for certain: they need to strengthen in a variety of areas if they are to somehow overtake Rangers.

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