Another year has just about come to a close and what an incredible rollercoaster of a 12 months it’s been.

From the dark days of losing 1-0 in Dingwall under Neil Lennon and being mauled at Ibrox under John Kennedy, to the more promising successes of Europa League qualification and the general feelgood factor the Ange Postecoglou revolution is providing.

However, with so many issues over the last 12 months, it’s been easy to forget some of the talent that now exists in Scotland. Whilst the likes of Kevin Nisbet and Josh Doig have been linked with Celtic in the past, there are a host of alternative talents starting to emerge too.

Here, we take a look at 3 that the Hoops will want to keep an eye on heading into the new year.

1. Martin Boyle

Okay so Hibernian’s Martin Boyle is hardly the newest talent to emerge in Scottish football. In fact, he’s been producing in the top 2 leagues of Scottish football for the best part of 9 years.

There’s been speculation over Boyle in the past, particularly during the Lennon days. And personally, I’ve been against it over the years. The reason being that he simply hasn’t had the consistency in his game to be considered as a plausible option.

Rogic returns, as Celtic prepare for hectic December | Hearts Preview with Scott McDonald

Rogic returns, as Celtic prepare for hectic December | Hearts Preview with Scott McDonald
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

That’s changed this season. Boyle already has 14 goals to his name this term and absolutely ripped Rangers apart in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final. He’s consistently been Hibernian’s top man and is well over the knee injury concerns that plagued him back in 2019.

In fact, he’s back a better player than ever and his record at Easter Road proves that. And at 28, he still has several years and a potential step-up in his locker if he wants to take it.

It’s difficult to know how much Hibs would want for Boyle. Recently signing a contract extension doesn’t help. In the past, it’s been reported that they would want as much as £3m for him [Scottish Sun]. It remains to be seen if Celtic would be willing to pay that for a position they’re already covered in with James Forrest and Liel Abada respectively.

But if Boyle carries his scintillating form into 2022 then you just never know what could be around the corner.

Jeando Fuchs

I don’t know what it’s going to take for Dundee United ball-winner Jeando Fuchs to start getting the attention he deserves.

The Cameroon international has been with the Terrors since October 2020 and was a standout last season. But this term, he’s stepped things up even more with a host of dominant midfield displays for United.

Jeando Fuchs has impressed more than once against Celtic
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Fuchs has been one of the best players on the park in his games against Celtic this year too. He was particularly impressive at Parkhead back in September, proving far too aggressive and tenacious for James McCarthy to handle.

He has experience in keeping the likes of Ryan Christie and David Turnbull quiet from last season too. United have proven to be something of a niusance to us since their promotion, and Fuchs has played a major role in that.

The one kind of player we don’t have in our starting XI is a tough-tackling midfielder. Ismaila Soro fits that bracket, but he barely gets a look in due to his erratic displays. Fuchs has shown a much more calming level of consistency with United in 2021, and is surely due a big move soon at only 24.

Keep your eyes on this one Bhoys, he’s got talent.

Beni Baningime

Yet as good as Fuchs is, Hearts’ on-loan Everton midfielder Beni Baningime is by far and away the standout midfielder in the country outside of Celtic and Rangers.

Twice has the 23-year-old featured against Celtic this season and he’s been absolutely incredible in both. The Hoops midfield couldn’t handle him on opening day at Tynecastle, as we lost a host of 50-50s to him simply due to his determination to win the ball.

Beni Baningime was the man-of-the-match on opening day
Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

At Celtic Park back in August in the Premier Sports Cup, he also made his mark. Hearts may have lost the game 3-2, but Baningime was Hearts’ standout player. He wouldn’t have looked out of place at Parkhead given the amount of midfield battles he was winning, but he received very little from his teammates.

Hearts won’t be keeping him for the long-term. And it doesn’t look as though a first-team opportunity under Rafa Benitez is going to come anytime soon either.

His contract is up on Merseyside in 2024. After impressing at Tynecastle, Celtic Park, and Ibrox, this is a player that looks destined for bigger things.

If he continues to make waves in the second half of the campaign, expect some speculation involving a Parkhead move to come his way.

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