Rivaldo Coetzee could be worth going for in January

By David Walton

December 4, 2018

Rivaldo Coetzee finally looks like making his big move to Europe, and Celtic should take the gamble.

The South African centre-back has had an up-and-down career since his move to Scotland fell through in 2017.

It looked like being the beginning of the end for him. Injury problems continued to plague him, and he initially looked set to retire in April due to his problems.

Fortunately, however, he’s returned to have a stunning campaign with Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa. This came after going under the knife and having corrective surgery on his foot. Finally, it looks as though the centre-back is on the mend.

Rivaldo Coetzee had to have surgery done on his foot (Jaco Marais/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

He’s been tipped to add to his 23 appearances for the South Africa national team. At just 22 years of age, he’s also been tipped to make his big move to Europe by club manager Pitso Mosimone.

“You can see the quality, he deserves to play in Europe.  It was sad to see this boy not playing football because we invested a lot of money on his quality.

“In my opinion he needs to move. But he needs to play in Bafana. I think we are wasting his time.”

Why not take the punt?

Coetzee is clearly still highly-rated in his homeland. Yes, he’s been through his injury troubles, but he’s had a positive campaign with his club and finally seems to have put all that behind him.

Celtic are in desperate need of some more centre-back cover if Dedryck Boyata leaves in January. Regardless of that, Filip Benkovic will head back to Leicester City at the end of the season too.

Coetzee has is closing in on a return to the South African national team (Steve Bardens-FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Coetzee was picked up by Mamelodi Sundowns after leaving Ajax Cape Town, the club where Celtic were initially set to sign him from. The defender has since said that he wanted to “sink into the ground” when the move to Scotland fell through.

His character has been shown in all its glory in recent times, however. He’s bounced back from his injury hell and is ready to make his move to Europe.

He fits the bill in terms of what Brendan Rodgers likes to see in his centre-backs, and has plenty of development left in him.

If Celtic do decide to go down the centre-back route in January, why not go for the man they so nearly signed 18 months ago?