Rennes boss Julien Stephan has been speaking about his side’s record-signing Raphinha.
The Brazilian winger joined the Ligue 1 high-flyers from Sporting Lisbon earlier this month for a reported fee of €20million. He is yet to make his debut for the French side but that is likely to come in Saturday’s trip to Brest.
Failing that, he could take his bow five days later when Celtic come to town for the Europa League Group E opener. And judging by Stephan’s comments, the attacker could cause more than a few troubles to the Hoops backline.
“He is a player who can eliminate his man, break through lines and dribble superbly,” said the Rennes boss.
“He is also capable of making the last pass and scoring goals, winning the one-on-one.
“He compliments the characteristics of our other offensive players and can also play as a second central striker.
“The arrival of the two players will allow us to have other options and to be able to change systems during a match. We will be less predictable by our opponents.” (Scottish Sun)
Raphinha is likely to be the key man for Rennes
Raphinha’s glossy price tag may strike fear into the hearts of some Celtic fans, but our players shouldn’t be overawed. The Brazilian’s fee may have been hefty but it was still short of the £25million we banked for Kieran Tierney earlier this summer.
Our leading attacker Odsonne Edouard would far exceed Raphinha’s fee too if he was to move tomorrow, so Celtic do have talent that can match up.
Rennes will no doubt have some very talented players but so do we. It’s often very easy to play down our own chances ahead of European clashes but Celtic have a number of players who have already proven they can compete at the highest level.
You assume that the likes of Edouard, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor would walk into the Rennes team. Christopher Jullien was one of the top defenders in the French top-flight for the past couple of seasons and Olivier Ntcham has recent French under-21 caps.
We have more than enough quality to get a result next Thursday. We should respect our opponents, including the talented Raphinha. But fearing them would be a mistake.