Celtic could have an opportunity to add to their squad with two highly-touted Arsenal youngsters, potentially on free deals.
The Guardian have reported that hotly-tipped striker Folarin Balogun is yet to sign a new deal at the Emirates. Meanwhile, Kido Taylor-Hart is attracting interest domestically and from abroad.
Balogun has excited at youth level for years. Born in New York City, the England U-20 star has 6 goal involvements in ten Premier League 2 matches. Perhaps more tantalisingly from a Celtic perspective, Balogun has scored 2 goals in just 61 minutes of Europa League football this season (Transfermarkt).
The prolific youngster is a favourite at international youth level. He debuted for England’s U20 side in October, having starred at U18 for both the Three Lions and the USA. He could still commit to the nation of his birth at senior level, with England boasting an embarrassment of riches up front.
Clearly a striker with an eye for goal and incredible prowess in the 18-yard box, Balogun could be the big-name Edouard replacement Celtic need.
Kido Taylor-Hart also represents an option, with the left flank still a problem area for Celtic. The left-winger boasts 7 goal involvements in as many games in the U18 Premier League (Transfermarkt). Also, he’s signed to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s agent.
A boyhood Gunners supporter (Football London), Taylor-Hart has impressed with his exciting, fruitful attacking play, earning comparisons to Leroy Sané. However, Arsenal are well-stocked with academy graduates in the wide positions. Promotion to the senior team could prove difficult.
Celtic looking for Arsenal sweeteners in an Edouard deal?
Celtic look likely to lose French striker Odsonne Edouard sooner rather than later. Arsenal are supposedly long-term admirers of French Eddy, who recently changed agents to Jonathan Barnett’s Stellar Group.
Stellar Group are the agency who negotiated Kieran Tierney’s Gunners move. Tierney has enjoyed adulation from fans since his move to the Emirates, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that KT and Eddy may reunite.
Transfer expert Ian McGarry believes Edouard’s agency change is a strong hint towards a move to Arsenal. On the Transfer Window Podcast, he said:
“Now, what’s kind of coincidental about this is that it was a senior executive agent at Stellar who brokered Kieran Tierney’s deal to join Arsenal from Celtic.
“You have to wonder if Edouard has looked at the situation with Tierney and thought: ‘Okay, well Kieran got his move’.
“Obviously Stellar are very well connected, especially with the London clubs. He’s certainly eyeing a move to the Premier League, that’s for sure. But in hiring Stellar, perhaps London is his preferred destination.”
Although Balogun and Taylor-Hart are potentially free transfers, it wouldn’t harm Celtic’s chances if they were, indeed, after the pair. While Celtic will be keen on a significant fee from Arsenal, the Gunners could sweeten the pot with two hotly-tipped Arsenal academy players.
Losing Eddy would be a huge blow to Celtic supporters. Especially if Celtic were to once again sell to Arsenal. Still, if there’s any “added value” from a Bhoys perspective, then it’s probably the best-case scenario.
Balogun and Taylor-Hart are two outstanding prospects, and if the Hoops are aggressive in securing their signatures, then it would represent excellent business for the club.