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Johansen: Signings important - but keeping Celtic stars makes all the difference

The Celtic midfielder has been discussing his side's trophy chances this season.

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen believes the fact his side kept their top stars this January could prove the difference between a trophy-laden season and narrowly missing out on success, according to the club's official website.

The 24-year-old Norwegian scored for the Bhoys on Sunday afternoon as they thumped Hamilton Academical 4-0 to increase their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership back to three points.

And the Celtic midfielder believes Ronny Deila's side are in good shape for the business end of the season.

An important factor behind their current run, according to Johansen, are the new signings they acquired in January - Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven, both of whom have hit the ground running at Celtic Park.

More important for the Norwegian, though, is the fact Celtic were able to hold on to their existing players.

“It’s important to bring in new signings, especially good players, and Stuart came in and scored in the league and in Europe while Gary has done really well for us too," Johansen said.

“It has been so important to keep everyone together. We have quality players who were on other clubs’ radars but we managed to keep them and that can be the difference in the end if we want to win trophies.”

Over the winter period, speculation had been rife about the future of a number of Celtic stars, including Kris Commons - who only recently signed a new contract with the Scottish Champions - Anthony Stokes - linked with a move to Leeds United - and defender Virgil van Dijk (linked with several clubs, including Arsenal).

In the end, however, all stayed - and Celtic are currently reaping the rewards.

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