As ever, Eddie Howe is the talk of the Celtic support as rumours over his potential arrival as manager intensify.
Should the 43-year-old take the reigns at Parkhead, he faces the task of a monumental rebuilding job ahead of 2021/22.
One man that has worked under Howe previously is striker Dominic Solanke, who is currently plying his trade at Bournemouth.
Given Odsonne Edouard is anticipated to exit Celtic Park this summer [Football Insider], prospectively, the Hoops will need to bring in striking reinforcements.
Celtic could do a lot worse than to look at Solanke, due to both his contractual situation as well as links to Howe.
Celtic should monitor Dominic Solanke due to his contract situation, need to replace Edouard, and relationship with Eddie Howe
Contractually his deal is due to expire in 2022, meaning he could be within the Hoops financial reach. Alongside this, his club currently lie outside the play-off places in the Sky Bet Championship [BBC]. With only 12 months left on his deal come June, the Cherries may be tempted to cash in on one of their prize assets especially if they fail to win promotion.
Howe signed Solanke at Bournemouth for around £19 million in January 2019 [Talksport], which adds a layer of advantageous familiarity to any potential approach. Despite his substantial previous fee, he is estimated to be worth around £9 million presently [Transfermarkt]. Conceivably, this may be a more realistic yardstick in terms of his affordability.
Celtic will need to spend considerable money on a forward to fill the Frenchman’s boots and appease the support. Someone like Solanke would certainly catch the eye of the Parkhead faithful.
What qualities would he bring to the Celtic forward-line?
Confident in front of goal, Solanke is capable of executing a wide array of finishes. Statistically, he has registered an impressive 12 goals and 9 assists from 34 appearances this campaign [Soccerbase].
The England international also excels in providing an out-ball to his teammates which would suit Celtic in Europe. Winning 2.2 aerial challenges per game, he retains the ability to make the ball stick [WhoScored]. He is also competent at beating his man which he was revered for in his earlier career.
Speaking to the Daily Echo in 2020, Celtic-linked Eddie Howe stated lavished praise on the 23-year-old, stating:
“He’s an outstanding athlete, an outstanding player technically, tactically. I’ve said it many times and people are probably bored of me saying it, but I think he’s going to be an outstanding player for this football club in the future.
Albeit an ambitious hypothetical pursuit, Howe definitely holds Solanke in high regard. If he is about to take over as Celtic head coach, we may well see some of his former players head north of the border.
Dominic Solanke certainly fits the bill, especially with Eddie Howe likely wanting players who suits his tactical set-up. He would be a no-brainer acquisition for Celtic should an opportunity present itself.