Celtic must look at France to replace loan star Filip Benkovic

By Connor Gordon

November 16, 2018

Celtic must look to the French under-21 market when it comes to replacing Filip Benkovic next summer.

The Bhoys have successfully dipped their toe in that ocean and are reaping the rewards.

Brendan Rodgers has to scout the country now to find his next gem.

It all comes down to money

The reason Celtic should be looking at France once again is one reason – money.

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The club are already quids in with their first young French recruit, Moussa Dembele.

Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard have followed from obscurity in their respective teams.

Moussa Dembele is Celtic first young Frenchman who went for big money to Lyon. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, what has eluded Rodgers is finding a French centre back.

There is clear value in young talents in and around Les Espoirs’ squad.

The hope will be to raise the player up for a massive profit following positive service to the club.

Celtic could go out and pay the big bucks for Benkovic but realistically it’s unlikely.

Which French players should we be looking at?

There are plenty of players inside France looking to take the step up.

Dembele had to move to Fulham to grow and Ntcham was bought from exile in Manchester City.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

One man Rodgers should be watching is Jeremy Gelin at Rennes.

His club’s youth academy has been consistently among the best in France.

A player Celtic should have enquired about was Joris Gnagnon, a team mate of Gelin’s at club and country.

The France under-21 moved to Sevilla last summer in a massive money move.

Before long, Gelin will be the next one to go for big money.

Celtic should be looking at the journey of recent opponent Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig.

The 20-year old was playing youth football in the French lower leagues before Red Bull built him up through feeder teams.

Now his value is in the region of £26 million after joining Leipzig for £10 million from Salzburg.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Edouard and Ntcham can sound out any others who may be of interest.

Creating a young French connection will do good for team bonding and make everyone more comfortable at the club.