This is another guest article by our friend, and massive Celtic supporter, Max Halliday. Max writes for SM Media, and has already contributed to 67 Hail Hail. His focus is on squad building and scouting.
A team known for producing and developing young talent are former Danish domestic champions, FC Nordsjælland.
The Danish Superliga isn’t widely known outside of central Europe. However, the level is of a similar standard to the Scottish Premiership. Celtic found that out against Copenhagen in last season’s Europa league round of 32.
Nordsjælland have developed and maintained a strong link to youth academies through their club network FSN.
Three teenage talents are currently making headlines in Denmark. Despite their tender age, they’ve been given the opportunity to shine, becoming regular starters in the Nordsjælland midfield.
The rebuilding job at Celtic Park this summer will be among the biggest in the history of the club, with player recruitment at the heart of it.
Having scouts looking at the trio at the Right to Dream Park (yes that’s really the name) would be a worthwhile place to start.
Celtic would do well to scout 17 y/o Tochi Chukwuani
The youngest of the three, the Danish club have shown faith in Chukwuani’s ability despite only being 17 (I know, imagine that Celtic). He has made 15 appearances this season with a solitary goal coming in their most recent encounter, against Aalborg [WhoScored?].
Most of his appearances this season have been from the bench. However his opening goal against Aalborg was on only his second start. The Dane is currently valued at around £250k with his contract due to expire in summer 2022 [Transfermarkt].
Chukwuani has also been ever-present in the Danish international youth set-up having been promoted straight from the Under 17’s to the Under 19’s. He scored a goal on his debut at Under 19 level.
The youngster has great physical attributes as well, standing at 6 feet 2. There are similarities between him and Kristoffer Ajer when he was signed from IK Start in Norway, in 2016. Albeit, Chukwuani’s future could be in midfield.
Diamonde in the rough?
Having joined FC Nordsjælland in January 2016 from a footballing academy linked to the club in Africa, Mohammed Diomande has been enjoying life so far in the Danish Superliga.
This season he has made 11 appearances with 5 overall goal involvements in the form of 3 goals and 2 assists [Transfermarkt], which includes him netting against FC Copenhagen back in October. Unfortunately for the youngster, he is currently on the treatment table with an ankle injury. Sadly, he isn’t due back until April.
Diomande is predominantly a central midfielder but can also play on the left-wing. Valued at £2.25 million, he offer lots of potential. Importantly, though, he would enhance the options in the midfield and the wing, creating competition for places.
Celtic next landing spot for Abu Francis?
Like Diomande, Abu Francis also joined Nordsjælland from a linked football academy in his native Ghana. He has been the most prolific out of the three, with 4 goals and 1 assist in 12 appearances for the Danish side [Transfermarkt].
Francis impressed in Nordsjælland’s incredible 4-1 victory over defending champions FC Midtjylland, netting a double. Valued at around £1.5million, the youngster can play in the midfield, on the left-wing and even as a striker. The versatile young player could prove to be good value for money, should Celtic pounce.