3 Under-21 Hot-Shots for Celtic scouts to watch

By Euan Davidson

March 17, 2021

Celtic scouts will be joined by the creme de la creme of the European recruitment scene later this month.

The UEFA Under-21 EUROs begin on the 24th March, with plenty of eyes on France and Celtic star Odsonne Edouard. With some of the biggest clubs in Europe considering a pounce for the striker, there’ll still be plenty of opportunities for some underrated gems.

Sides like Croatia, Switzerland and the Netherlands are packed with talent, while England’s U-21 squad is full of multi-million pound players. France, for whom Edouard will surely star, have players who would walk into quality full international sides. The likes of Jules Koundé and Eduardo Camavinga are outrageously talented players with massive potential.

Everywhere you look, there’s utter quality. You’d do well to watch the tournament. That’s especially the case if you’re employed by Nick Hammond at Celtic Football Club.

We’ve run the rule over the squads and picked 3 realistic targets for Celtic, who could shine in the youth tournament.

Danihlo Doekhi battling in the air / (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Celtic need centre-back options: here’s Danilho Doekhi

Rotterdam-born centre-back Danilho Doekhi is coming to the tournament during a breakout season. The 22-year-old has enjoyed 90 minutes in all but one game in the Eredivise so far this season [Transfermarkt]. That shows how much faith there is in the youngster at Vitesse, where he joined from Ajax’s lauded youth system.

With 86 total appearances for Vitesse in total, Doekhi has remarkable experience considering his tender years. A mobile, pass-first defender who stands at 6’2″, the centre-back is efficient across the pitch. In his last game, he made an assist as Vitesse beat Utrecht 3-1 [WhoScored?].

His side currently sit 4th in the Eredivisie [Sky Sports], with the joint-second best defence in the division. That’s pretty incredible going. Valued at just £1.8m, Doekhi could be a fantastic signing to bolster Celtic’s struggling defence.

Fabian Rieder of Young Boys / (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Fabian Rieder; a star in the Europa League

Nominative determinism is the idea that people gravitate towards occupations which reflect their name. It’s a reverse to old naming traditions, where names like Butcher would come from a person’s work, and be passed down generations. It’s not just surnames, it’s more malleable. The best example is that David Beckham was born in Whipps’ Cross hospital.

So, if your name is Rieder, you’re either born to be an academic or a perceptive central midfielder. Young Boys star Fabian Reider is the latter. That helps us, since we’re talking about football.

Rieder has been more than useful in Young Boys’ successful season. His side are in the latter stages of the Europa League, having put Jeremie Frimpong’s Leverkusen to the sword at the Round of 32 stage [UEFA]. At just 19, he’s also made 18 Swiss league appearances [Transfermarkt], playing as either a central midfielder or in a more defensive role.

Similar to Doekhi, Rieder has a value of £1.8m. Given that Celtic will likely see a rush of outgoing midfielders in the summer, it could well be worth investigating Rieder’s availability. A successful tournament for Switzerland could see his value rise exponentially.

Luka Sucic of RB Leipzig; a real talent / (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Luka Sucic; a versatile Jesse Marsch disciple Celtic could use

Positional versatility has been an issue for Celtic this season. Often, due to injuries, Covid-19 and fixture build-up, we’ve seen players forced into positions they’re not natural in. Think Ryan Christie as a right-winger. Jeremie Frimpong as a right-winger. Ryan Christie as a centre-forward. Shane Duffy as a footballer. Etc, etc.

Luka Sucic is an excellent answer, here. He’s natural on either flank, as well as in central midfield. Don’t view him as a jack-of-all-trades type, though; Sucic is a quality player. Playing at RB Salzburg under Jesse Marsch, Sucic has made 14 Bundesliga appearances, and 3 in the Europa League.

A creative, intelligent roaming playmaker, Sucic can be devastating from multiple areas on the pitch. Left-footed, but able to cut in from the right, his technique is excellent. Well-established as a Croatia youth international, Sucic could be an important player in the U-21 Euros.

Marsch said of Sucic [Goal]:

“I think he is a quality player who needs to be tested at higher levels and I think he has a big potential and future. A goal for him is to have first-team minutes this year, for sure.”

Having signed a new contract last year, RB Salzburg have attempted to fend off interest from Serie A. Still only valued at the thick end of £2m [Transfermarkt], Celtic could make a bold statement by going for the 18-year-old midfielder.

READ MORE: Jesse Marsch has the exact qualities Celtic need – opinion.