BIG BOOTS TO FILL says CHRIS JACK
DESPITE banking in the region of £20million on Wednesday night as Celtic booked their place in the Champions League group stages, and several millions more from the sales of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson earlier this summer, Neil Lennon couldn't splash the cash before the end of the transfer window on Saturday.
The captures of Nir Biton and Teemu Pukki don't represent massive outlays for the Scottish champions but the pair do have big boots to fill.
Many Hoops fans will be disgruntled at the fact that serious money wasn't spent on high profile replacements but Lennon must hope his next batch of rough diamonds can shine just as brightly as the likes of Wanyama and Hooper.
That may turn out to be the case but, here and now, Celtic do appear weaker than they were on the final day of last season after losing three of their best players.
They will still have enough to storm to Premiership success, though, and that will give the new recruits plenty of time to replicate their predecessors success.
ONLY TIME WILL TELL says MICHAEL GRANT
THE essentials are pretty straightforward: the loss of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson meant Celtic lost their best midfielder, their best striker and their best defender.
It is impossible to say that their team can be better than last season until the replacements have proved themselves to be at least a match for three players sold for a combined £20million. Maybe they will, but it's more likely that they won't.
Could Nir Biton be another Wanyama? Teemu Pukki (or Amido Balde) another Hooper? Virgil van Dijk another Wilson?
What tends to get overlooked is that Wanyama, Hooper and Wilson were unremarkable, modestly-priced signings who didn't really excite supporters when they arrived.
The same now applies to their new crop of successors. But Celtic cannot always deliver the alchemy of signing for around £1m-£3m and selling for many millions more.
It will be two years before they can be fairly judged but, for now, their "new" team has a mighty challenge to emulate the "old" one.