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A look at our signings - Defenders

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We’ve made six signings in defence, which honestly needed it. It’s been our busiest position for buying but has it paid off?

Matthew Lewis

Defence has notoriously been our weakest position, but it seems Coyle has certainly had fun trying to improve it.

Leon Barnett


Barnett has had some outstanding moments. His debut for example against Barnsley was terrific, almost earning my Man of the Match award. Barnett is looking strong in the air but also on the ground. He is however a bit cagey with his positioning and needs to tighten up with his fellow defenders. For a 27-year-old player from the Premiership you would expect better in the department but he certainly has made up for it, scoring 2 goals in 7 appearances, which is something short of a miracle for a centre back. I expect Barnett to be settle down a bit more and become a vital piece in our defence.

Barnett arrived from Norwich City for an Undisclosed Fee.

James Perch


Perch was a smart signing. He’s 27-year-old who made his name at Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United. He’s well experienced and versatile and still has room to improve. Moving to the Championship is probably the best move for his career. He’s playing in Europe and under less pressure from a big name club like Newcastle. He’s been playing well, though not outstandingly. Honestly, I can see Perch being with us for a long time to come and throughout I imagine he will continue that streak - not outstanding but never shocking. He’s certainly had bad moments but never enough to warrant leaving out of the squad in my opinion.

Perch arrived from Newcastle United for an Undisclosed Fee.

Thomas Rogne


This lad earned a joint Man of the Match award from me on his debut. He played outstandingly well. He’s often been on my radar for upcoming players but Celtic is an awkward team to make your name at, unless you play well in Europe then it can be very quiet. Coyle however took advantage of a huge opportunity and it certainly paid off. He wasn’t as strong against Leicester last week, but it was only his second game. He’s 23, so he has plenty of room to grow and become a star player for our time.

Rogne arrived from Celtic on a Free Transfer.

Stephen Crainey


Crainey has actually been a good worker for the team. Honestly, I’m pleasantly surprised. This was a guy whose name I only heard from the occasional Scotland game. He’s 32 but he’s certainly not acting it. It’s fair to say he hasn’t been the greatest left back of all time but we could have a lot worse. In the game against Manchester United for the Community Shield he paired up very well with James McClean and together they looked a dangerous combination. Hopefully, he can tighten up his defending and play a few more games with a dangerous McClean.

Crainey arrived from Blackpool on a Free Transfer.

Juan Carlos Garcia


Let’s be fair, this lad hasn’t played a game yet, and compared to the other signings, his was fairly quiet. There’s not much I can say about someone who hasn’t played yet but here’s opening he can play with determination and passion. If he does, then I’m happy.

Garcia arrived from Olimpia on a Free Transfer.

Ryan Shotton


The last defender we signed this window. He’s yet to play and seems to have been brought in for cover and fitness reasons. It’s a fair move, he’s a right back who can also play right wing-back and right midfield and we can’t rely on Boyce forever, he is nearly 34.

Shotten arrived from Stoke city on loan.