Bahlul Mustafazada tipped to be a success at Celtic if move is made

By David Walton

April 22, 2019

Reported Celtic target Bahlul Mustafazada has been tipped to be a huge success wherever he goes this summer.

The centre-back is out of contract this summer after featuring with Gabala this season. The Azerbaijan outfit are still looking to qualify for the Europa League this season, and sit fourth in the league at the moment.

Mustafazada has already opened up on the speculation too. He stated that he would be open to a move to Celtic in the summer, with reports that the Hoops are ready to offer him a trial.

Bahlul Mustafazada (right) has impressed in Azerbaijan (Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

And he’s been backed to be a big hit by experienced team-mate Rauf Aliyev. Aliyev has been capped 46 times, and told the Daily Record that Mustafazada is ready for the move.

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“This season Bahlul has been outstanding for us.

“He only broke into the team really this season, but he’s earned his chance and gone from strength to strength and he’s been an important player for Gabala.

“I read about the interest about him from Celtic and I believe this would be a very good move for him. He’s young and still learning, but he is a top prospect for Azerbaijan. If he continues to progress like this, I have no doubt at all he will go on and play in one of the top European leagues. He is certainly capable of it.”

Not much to go on

Nobody can pretend to know much about Mustafazada. He’s a name that’s come out of the blue. But if Celtic deem him worthy of a trial, then who are we to argue?

He is a regular at under-21 level for Azerbaijan, and has also featured for the top team. It’s difficult to understand whether this is a signing that would be viewed as one for the future.

Dedryck Boyata is set to leave at the end of the season (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In order to secure 10-in-a-row, you would hope the club would push the boat out a bit more. A free transfer from Azerbaijan for an inexperienced centre-back would hardly be the ideal replacement for Dedryck Boyata on paper. And whilst Mustafazada may come good, it’s not a risk you would want Celtic to take.

At the moment he’s an unknown quantity. He’s clearly impressing in his home country, however, and a few defenders should be on our radar this summer.

The trial remains the best option here in any case. At the very least, it gives the club a chance to see what he’s got.