Filip Benkovic still open to Celtic return as he prepares for Leicester return

By David Walton

May 27, 2019

Filip Benkovic has today stated that he is still open to a potential Celtic return next season.

The Croatian centre-back’s loan spell has now come to an end after a successful year in Glasgow. Benkovic managed 30 appearances in Scotland, bagging two goals and even managing an assist too. But it’s his defensive attributes that have impressed the Celtic support.

Benkovic has shown himself to be confident and composed on the ball. Throughout his 30 outings, he’s seldom made any key errors. Whilst there is still at times an immaturity to his game, it’s overshadowed by the sheer quality and potential he has in him.

Filip Benkovic has strolled his campaign up in Scotland (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Leicester have themselves a fine player on their hands. But speaking to The Herald, Benkovic has stated that he would still be open to a Celtic return.

“We will have to wait and see what happens in the summer and what is the plan for me next season. We have spoken a little bit about what will happen but not too much as I was just concentrating on Celtic.

“I wouldn’t rule out coming back to Celtic and you never know where life will take you. I don’t know what will happen, but I really enjoyed my time at the club. I’m so proud to have played for Celtic and I am so thankful for everything they did for me.”

Celtic must jump at any chance to get him

Yes, the Brendan Rodgers departure is still a tad bitter. It’s still something that some fans may never get over. But when an opportunity to get a player like Benkovic back next season turns up, it’s something we have to take.

Dedryck Boyata’s departure has left us short enough for next season as it is(MB Media/Getty Images)

There can be question marks over why he didn’t feature every week under Neil Lennon. The most likely solution? He was just a loan player and heading back within a matter of weeks. Lennon likely wanted something more permanent in place.

And granted, whilst any deal for Benkovic would still be a loan, it allows us to get another full season out of him. The Croatian was part of our first-choice centre-back pairing through the first half of the season. As time got on, it was clear Lennon wanted to try something a tad more permanent.

Benkovic will head back to Leicester (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Whilst Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer have proven to be solid enough, Benkovic is of a higher quality than Jozo. With Dedryck Boyata having also departed, keeping Benkovic would be a real boost. It would help fill a big gap that needs filling this summer too.

Rodgers has also admitted that he would be happy to send Benkovic back to Celtic next season (Daily Record). If that remains the case, it’s not something we should turn down.