"Too easy for him"; Steven Defour's glowing praise for reported Celtic target

By Lewis Laird

June 11, 2022

Ange Postecoglou’s work is well underway to strengthen the Celtic squad this summer.

The Bhoys boss is keen to add to several positions including another central midfield option after the departure of Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic.

One of the latest names to be linked to the club in that position is Brazilian midfielder, Vinicius Souza.

Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

The 22-year-old is currently contracted to second division Belgian side Lommel, who are also part of the City Group. And Celtic’s interest appears to be serious, with reports suggesting talks are scheduled to take place with the player’s representatives.

Last season Souza spent the campaign on loan in the top flight of Belgian football, pushing for a European shot with KV Mechelen.

The midfielder has caught the eye of sides from across the continent, with the likes of Club Brugge and Fenerbahce joining Celtic in the pursuit of the midfielder.

That won’t come as a surprise to former Porto and Burnley midfielder Steven Defour, who has previously been full of praise for the Brazilian.

Defour retired from football in 2021, spending his final year with Mechelen before becoming assistant manager at his boyhood club at the beginning of the season.

He spent plenty of time with the Lommel loanee and claimed that he was ‘head and shoulders’ above anybody else this season after impressing during his first year in Belgium.

The 34-year-old also stated his belief that an ideal step in the future for the midfielder would be the English Premier League, with the Belgian league being ‘too easy’ for him at times, which could bring out mistakes from time to time.

Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

He said [HLN]: “Vini can make a great career. He can perfectly join a Belgian or Dutch top club.

“But perhaps the middle or sub-top of the Premier League is the ideal step. There he will be challenged. He needs that to keep making progress.

“This season, we already saw that sometimes it was too easy for him, and then there was nonchalance in his game. Where his ceiling is, is difficult to estimate. But he has the qualities to make it at the top of Europe.”

He continued: “Vini is head and shoulders above the rest this season. He breaks down an incredible number of attacks. In addition, many of our attacks start through his foot.”

Photo by TOM GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Souza is attracting attention

What is clear from Defour’s comments from earlier in the season is that Vinicius Souza has potential. He even thinks he can play consistently at the top level.

This could make Celtic an ideal place for the midfielder to come next season, with the chance to develop his game whilst also playing on the biggest stage of them all in European football.

Working under a manager like Ange Postecoglou could also do Souza a world of good, and the Celtic boss has shown his ability to improve players across his first season in charge at Parkhead.

Celtic and Ange Postecoglou’s links to the City Group could come in handy for this deal and potentially secure another top talent at the club for next season.

In other news, Celtic hero relishing test against teammate on international duty today; how to watch.