Former Celtic striker John Hartson believes that the Hoops can make an impression in Europe next season – but only if one or two players of ‘genuine quality’ are brought to the club in the summer.

The Hoops reached the group stages of the Champions League and ultimately the last 32 of the Europa League before being convincing defeated by Zenit.

Hartson, writing in the Evening Times, claims that for the Hoops to go that bit further in Europe the quality of player has to improve, and that Brendan Rodgers must demand to the Hoops board that good money is spent.

“I think he is a sensible guy, he is a realist and there is never going to be the resources at Celtic to go and ask for silly money but I do think that he will ask for one or two players of genuine quality who could make the difference,” Hartson said.

“And I think that if there is a player that he really wants and believes will enhance that squad on a European level, that the board will back him.”

The Hoops last spent big on Olivier Ntcham, who cost £4.5million from Manchester City last summer and has proven to be an excellent signing.

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Football Insider verdict

It’s hard to disagree with anything Hartson has to say here. If the Hoops want to go further in Europe, and actually make an impact in the Champions League group stages, then the standard of player has to improve. The Bhoys have the money and the fans have backed the club to the hilt in the last two seasons, and they deserve to see their faith in the team rewarded with some big money signings. If the Hoops were to spend around £8million on one particular player, that would be a real statement of intent, and show that they are serious about making an impact in Europe going forward.

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