Leicester City confirm that Filip Benkovic will stay at Celtic

By David Walton

January 2, 2019

Filip Benkovic’s future has been sealed as he’s been given the green light to stay at Celtic.

The Croatian centre-back has been a revelation since joining up at Parkhead in the summer. The Hoops originally signed him on a season-long loan deal, but fears grew that Leicester were interesting in bringing him back this month.

Fortunately for the Hoops, Foxes manager Claude Puel has dismissed that idea. With the quantity of defenders already at the King Power Stadium, the Leicester gaffer sees no reason to haul back his £13million recruit.

Claude Puel is happy for Filip Benkovic to stay at Celtic (Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Speaking today ahead of what’s going to be a busy transfer window around the UK, Puel said the following:

“We have a lot of defenders at the club.

“Assuming we don’t get any injuries, it’s better Filip maintains his loan at Celtic.”

Celtic’s worst fears have been dismissed

This is terrific news for the Hoops. Benkovic has solidified himself as the club’s number one defender in his short spell in Glasgow.

Alongside Dedryck Boyata, Benkovic has formed a terrific partnership with the Belgian at the heart of the Celtic back-line.

The Hoops have conceded just 13 goals during his 20 outings at the club. This has led to him being a key figure as Celtic go for a famous treble treble this season under Brendan Rodgers.

For the player, it’s best that he remains in Glasgow. After picking up an injury and losing his first Glasgow derby against Rangers, he still has plenty to prove. The big Croatian will be itching to see this journey through, and he’ll want another crack at Celtic’s derby rivals.

Benkovic pulled up in agony against Rangers (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

You have to wonder, however, what the deal means for the likes of Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer. Both have been resigned to sporadic appearances in recent months, and their development has stalled due to Benkovic’s form.

At this stage, it looks like both men will be vying it out for first-reserve. That’s only if Boyata stays, however, as he enters the final six months of his own contract.

In any case, Celtic fans can be delighted with this news. When the club needs him most, Benkovic will be there to help shore up their title-bid.