Talented Man City youngster could be perfect fit for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

December 17, 2020

Celtic have had a fair amount of joy from the Manchester City academy in recent seasons.

Jeremie Frimpong joined from the Citizens’ youth set-up in 2019 (BBC), while Patrick Roberts starred for Celtic and nearly signed permanently (Daily Record).

Man City are set to let another youngster slip through the cracks. This time, he’d be absolutely perfect for Celtic’s current needs.

Dutch winger Jayden Braaf is on the radar of several clubs, with his Citizens future in doubt (Daily Mail).

Braaf, 18, had been compared to Jaden Sancho for his technical ability and pace. However, the similarities don’t end there, as Sancho left Manchester for stardom elsewhere (Bundesliga).


Jayden Braaf in action / (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Braaf: an ideal fit?

With Celtic lacking wide options, the young Dutch forward could be exactly what’s needed in Neil Lennon’s team. The flying winger is quick, strong and excellent on the ball.

Crucially, he likes to play on the left. With Elyounoussi only at Celtic temporarily, it’s only Mikey Johnston who holds that position long-term. His injury issues are well-documented, so competition on that side of the pitch is vital.

YouTube scouting is obviously not the same as the real thing, but looking at this clip (YouTube), it’s hard not to imagine Braaf terrorising defences in Scotland. His eye for a quick pass and ability to take players on would go down a treat in the Green and White.

Born in Amsterdam, Braaf is a star at youth international level (Transfermarkt). He’s scored with regularity for the Oranje’s U-18, U-17 and U-16 sides.

Celtic-bound? / (Photo by Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

What kind of fee would Celtic expect to pay?

Braaf was named Under-23s Players’ Player of the Year for the 2019/20 season (Manchester Evening News)

It’s only a supposed breakdown in communication that has led to Guardiola looking to move Braaf on. The youngster had expected to feature more in the first team this season, but he hasn’t done so.

Manchester City, according to the Manchester Evening News, are looking to either loan Braaf or send him away permanently. £8m was the rumoured fee to secure the Dutchman permanently, but a loan move or a structured deal with a significant buy-back clause could be enough to bring the winger in.

It’s big money, sure. But Celtic need to prioritise wingers in upcoming transfer windows, and the reality is that top youth talent doesn’t come cheap.

Could Braaf be the man to replace Mohammed Elyounoussi? Given the link between Celtic and Manchester City, it’d be surprising if speculation wasn’t to mount over the coming weeks.