For many Celtic fans, putting forward any sort of justification of their club’s transfer business this January amounts to defending the indefensible.

The late loan signing of Adam Idah from Norwich City – without an option to buy should he buck expectations and do well in Glasgow – has simply fuelled the notion that the window has not gone to plan, supposing there was a plan at all.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, given his own openness about his desire for at least four quality additions in the winter window, would perhaps be the last man you would expect to amount a public defence of such short-term thinking.

But he appears to have developed a degree of realism in recent days, something it could be argued has been browbeaten into him by the disappointments of his two transfer windows since returning to Celtic.

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Or maybe it was simply dawning on Rodgers that loan signings were the best that could be hoped for with the days steadily ticking by, and so he was preparing the ground for that both in his own mind, and in those of the supporters.

“Ideally you want to have players who you know are going to be here for a few seasons to grow and develop,” Rodgers said.

“But there always has to be a balance between both loan players and permanent signings. Permanent signings aren’t always possible.

“Having had the experience here before there’s always going to be that revolving door.

“You’ll always have that core of players who you want to keep here but if you look at the movement of squads here over two-to-three-year periods, that’s always going to happen. In the modern game you have to be able to adapt to that.

“It’s not like the old days when you went ‘right, that’s the squad and we’ll keep them together for five or six years’.

“One, that doesn’t work anyway. You have to recycle your squad every three years. You have to. Even if it was a team that had won three Trebles – on that fourth year you would want to change it because of the hunger. That’s what experience tells us.

“There will always be that and that’s okay. It’s just about getting good players in.”

Whether Celtic have managed to get good players in this January in the shape of Idah and Nick Kuhn, remains to be seen. How they arrived at those targets, is a widespread point of conjecture.

Rodgers attempted to shed some light on the recruitment process as it currently stands at Celtic, outlining that while he leans on the data provided to him by his recruitment and scouting teams, he likes to have had his own eyes on a player to ensure they are cut out to handle playing for his club.

“Listen, there will be certain clubs who will only look at that side of it [analysis],” he said.

“But there are things that you can never find out through analysis other than by being at a stadium, watching the player and seeing what their movement is like, seeing how he deals the with atmosphere.

“I always say, the analytical side doesn’t tell you if someone has a heart and personality. When you play for a club like this one, you need to have a heart and the mental strength. You have to find out those things and see them live.

“Obviously statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it. It’s something which is a really good support for us.”

Just as important to Rodgers is the opportunity to speak to potential recruits face-to-face before bringing them to Celtic, something he always tries to do before making that final commitment to add them to his squad.

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For one, he wouldn’t want to risk upsetting the harmony in his squad by introducing a personality who was not a good fit, but he is also a firm believer in looking into a player’s eyes to see for himself if he has the hunger and the desire to succeed at such a big club.

“Yes, just to feel their own ambition,” he said.

“I think it’s very important. If players are coming to a club and the agent or the player don’t want to speak to the manager or don’t deem it as important, then that’s a red flag for me.

“But that’s very rarely been the case. For me, I’d always want to speak with a player and find a way to do that so you understand their ambitions and what it is they want to achieve as well as what we can give them.

“Because it is about mentality. You have to try and get as much understanding of that mentality as you can.

“Have I backed away from some? Yes. There’s probably some I wish I had done so with as well!

“There are plenty who talk a good game.”