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Neil Lennon Talks January Transfer Targets

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New boss hits the ground running

Jan Kruger

In discussions with the BEN and chief football writer Marc Iles, the new Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon turned his attention to the January transfer window and the subject of reinforcements.

Lennon said:

"All we spoke about was the squad. If I want to bring someone in, I'm sure there will be funds available.

"I just want to assess what I've got first before I decide if I need to do anything else."

It seems logical that Lennon will look to Scotland for new recruits, although he played his cards close to his chest on that one:

"I can't do that now because you can't do the cross border thing but maybe in January who knows."

Hopefully that means the end of the desperate loan signings from Crystal Palace.

Celtic fan and friend of LOV, Kieran Caw, editor and writer for @CelticJournal, has offered his thoughts on Kris Commons and Efe Ambrose who have both been linked with January moves to Bolton:

Player profile: Efe Ambrose


Efe Ambrose was drawing comparisons to Yaya Toure by some in the media after his Celtic debut. Before you get carried away, he was playing central midfield against Raith Rovers.

He was a solid defender for Celtic in the first half of his debut season. His distinct style of almost giving supporters a heart attack every time he touches the ball is something to be admired. Sometimes he believes deep down that his skills can only be matched by that of Cristiano Ronaldo. In reality however, well, there is no comparison.

Until the Juventus debacles in the last sixteen of the Champions League, both home and away, he truly was one of Celtic's best players. His performances against the likes of Lionel Messi deservedly earned praise from around the globe.

Let's begin with the home leg. Despite outplaying Juventus (yes, I'm biased) we lost 3-0. It would be unfair to blame the defeat on Efe as, although he did cause two goals, it's definitely worth noting that he just hopped off a plane back from winning the African Cup of Nations just four hours before kick-off. Neil Lennon had to take the blame for not giving Ambrose a much needed rest. After that, his confidence was pretty much shattered.

The away leg. Now here's a story. The 25-year-old Nigerian missed the team bus to a training session in Turin and was subsequently disciplined for the mistake. His explanation? Not hearing the alarm on his watch due to being in the shower listening to gospel music. He now claims to wear two watches!

For all his defensive mishaps, he undoubtedly makes up for that through his commitment to football - and his celebrations aren't half bad either. His attitude is outstanding and cannot be faulted.

What Bolton would get with Efe Ambrose is an often composed, fully committed defender who likes to play the ball out from the back. He love a dribble. Although prone to the odd mistake, he could be a good signing on his day.

For Celtic this season, due to three right-backs being injured, Efe has been playing out of position and his form has been, to be honest, absolutely awful. The positive side to that is Neil Lennon stated repeatedly during the World Cup that he knows how poor Ambrose is on the right hand side as, to quote the new Bolton manager, "Efe has a curly toe."

Efe Ambrose has played 108 times for Celtic in two-and-a-bit seasons. Neil Lennon is a fan and importantly knows both his strengths and weaknesses. Although I reckon the majority of Celtic fans would be glad to see the back of him, he is a decent enough defender who would provide a different option to the stereotypical Championship centre-back.

Player profile: Kris Commons

Kris Commons has been fan-favourite at Celtic Park ever since signing from Derby for a mere £300,000. His excellent performances on the pitch along with he and his partner's amazing charity work off it has meant the supporters have taken the Commons family to their hearts.

Scoring an extraordinary 71 goals in 163 games, the midfielder has picked up numerous awards during his time here including Players' Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year.

Unbelievably, Kris Commons scored on his Celtic, Glasgow Derby, and home debut, finishing the season with a record of fourteen goals in twenty-one games since signing from Derby in January of 2011.

He is renowned for his ability to shoot from outside of the box and is also an excellent penalty taker, scoring the vital spot-kick that ultimately took Celtic through to the last sixteen of the Champions League in 2012.

Last season, Commons played an integral part in Celtic's Champions League qualification by scoring against both Elfsborg and the famous win 3-0 against Kazakh champions Shakhter Karagandy.

Although an excellent threat in front of goal, some perceive Kris Commons to be a lazy player. That said, who would object to a supposedly lazy player who is capable of scoring thirty-two goals from midfield in a single season.

Celtic's new manager has dropped last season's Player of the Year numerous times this campaign, most notably in our vital Champion League qualifier against Maribor - a game in which we devastatingly lost 1-0. This has resulted in countless rumours surrounding his future at Celtic and if he has a place in Ronny Deila's new system.

With less than one year left on his current contract, Bolton could steal one of Celtic's best players for free by signing him on a pre-contract in January. And believe me, it would be a steal.

Kris Commons comes with a guarantee of goals. Keeping in mind his age, he may only have two or three more of his best years in front of him. Signing the ex-Forest player either in January or next summer would be a very smart move for Bolton, especially if the plans are to get back into the Premier League sooner rather than later.