Leicester City centre-back Filip Benkovic has been discussing his season with Celtic ahead of his loan period with Bristol City.
Benkovic ended up signing for the Robins despite Celtic being linked as one of four clubs in for his services ahead of deadline day (Northern Echo).
In the end, deadline-day proved to be a damp squib, certainly in terms of Celtic going for Benkovic. There wasn’t one report that had us even in talks with Leicester regarding his signing.
However, speaking to Bristol City’s official website, Benkovic had the following to say on his Celtic spell:
“I had a really good season at Celtic and I really enjoyed it back there. It was really helpful because as a young player when you get the opportunity to play at a European level it gives you more experience and confidence and I’m really grateful for that.
“My experience from last season I will try to improve more this season at City.”
Benkovic’s affection for Celtic is clear to see
Benkovic clearly shows affection for the club through these comments. And, given that affection, it would’ve been wise to see whether the Croatian would’ve been open to a return. It certainly feels like it.
After all, it’s not as if he’s joining a fellow Premier League club down in England. In fact, he’s only joining a club who are fighting for a playoff position in the Championship.
Compare that to what Celtic could’ve offered him. With a mouth-watering Europa League tie against Copenhagen and the prospect of further latter-stage European football, it’s a no-brainer. We’re also going for history as we look to match our own nine-in-a-row record this season. Everything was there to tempt Benkovic with.
Celtic to Bristol City isn’t a step-up. With where Leicester want to be as a football club, continuing to develop that must-win mentality would’ve been better served had he came back to Parkhead. A move for him looked more than doable.
However, we decided not to do so, and now we have to play with the cards we have. And, in fairness, it looks as though we may have a burgeoning young talent in Stephen Welsh. He made a fine debut against Hamilton Accies today, and he looks like he’s ready for further opportunities.
Perhaps this is one we’ll revisit further down the line. For now, we cross our fingers and hope we have enough quality in the squad to see us through. The early signs from Welsh certainly look promising.