The summer break for players seems to be getting shorter every year, but honestly it is great to have competitive football back. Once again, the battle to be crowned Scottish Premiership champions will be between Glasgow’s big two.
Both Celtic and Rangers had different agendas over the summer with regard to recruitment.
For Ange Postecoglou it was about retaining his key existing cogs while adding a few around the edges to get a bit more from his squad. Last summer Postecoglou oversaw a big overhaul but this summer his squad only needed minor surgery with continuity being the order of the day. It is fair to say he has delivered on that front with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota signed on permanent deals after their loan spells, as they would have interested many other clubs over the summer.
Automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages after winning the Premiership last season and the money that this brings will have played a big part in getting those two deals done.
Both players have their best years ahead of them and doubtless at some stage they will move on, but nonetheless it is just what Celtic needed to do.
Across the city, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has had a bit of a rebuilding job to contend with at Rangers after losing key players Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo. With the money raised, it has allowed van Bronckhorst to strengthen other areas where they were short. He’s added seven players in total to give them a fresh new look but the club have spent wisely to get them all in.
Antonio Colak is a different option to Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe up top. He’s more of a target man, which will help particularly away from home in the Premiership. They came up short in some away games last season so Colak will be a worthwhile alternative if they’re chasing goals.
A right-winger with pace will have been high on van Bronckhorst’s priority list and the addition of Rabbi Matondo can fulfil that wish.
Attacking midfielder Tom Lawrence looks a shrewd signing on a free transfer from Derby County and Malik Tillman signing on loan from Bayern Munich could be the creative number 10 they’ve craved.
As for the rest, I think Hearts are head and shoulders above and I can’t see anyone overtaking them in third place, which is good news for Michael Smith and Liam Boyce.
As a side I would love to see the Jam Tarts close the gap on the big two and although Director of Football Joe Savage said this is the ultimate aim, I fear the money they spent this window has widened the gap further.
So hold on tight, Scottish football is back and as always it will be full of debate, fall-out and conspiracy theories!