Report: Celtic to battle Bundesliga giants for Crystal Palace wonderkid Jesurun Rak-Sakyi

By Euan Davidson

March 18, 2021

Celtic are in pursuit for Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, but face competition from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke and Everton.

Rak-Sakyi is reportedly unwilling to sign a professional deal at Crystal Palace [Daily Mail]. Despite seeing opportunities given to homegrown talents like Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the youngster fancies his chances elsewhere.

The “elsewhere” could be Celtic, but the club have opposition in German giants, as well as West Ham and Everton. According to the Daily Mail, a development fee of £150,000 would need to be paid to secure the midfielder.

Rak-Sakyi has played in 11 U18 Premier League fixtures, scoring 6 goals and providing 3 assists [Transfermarkt]. At 18, he fits the exact profile of a current Celtic target. Kyle Joseph of Wigan has been on Celtic’s radar. So, too, has Kwadwo Baah of Rochdale, while Liam Shaw has already signed.

A pacy, technically sound midfielder, Rak-Sakyi may well look to Jude Bellingham’s example. Bellingham is now in and around the Borussia Dortmund first-team, having signed from Birmingham City. There are other examples of English talents moving abroad, including Jadon Sancho – also at BVB – and Louie Barry, who spent a season at Barcelona [BBC].

Crystal Palace have a lauded youth academy / (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Jesurun Rak-Sakyi to Celtic? If the club can get moving quickly, perhaps

Moving quickly to sign targets isn’t really Celtic’s thing.

In terms of English youngsters, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Alfie Doughty were very publicly pined for. Despite months of speculation, both signed elsewhere. It seems whenever there is significant competition, the club lose out.

Therefore, capturing Rak-Sakyi ahead of rivals from the Bundesliga and the Premier League would be incredibly positive.

That said, is there room for Rak-Sakyi? As a midfielder, he would face enormous competition, even in a development side. We’re yet to see much of Luca Connell, while Kerr McInroy, Ewan Henderson and others are promising central midfielders who might be higher in the queue.

However, given the level of club involved in this speculation, Rak-Sakyi is surely a talented player. Crystal Palace’s youth system tends to unearth gems.

Neither Gladbach nor Schalke – particularly Schalke – are close to competing for trophies as regularly as Celtic. Moreover, European football and the prospect of an exciting new manager are all good recruiting tools.

You never know.

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