3 Premier League free agents who could immediately boost Celtic squad
The Premier League has been an unhappy hunting ground for Celtic, but it needn’t be that way.
I’m not contradicting my excellent colleague David here. First off; we’ve made moves for “Premier League stars” and it hasn’t worked out, especially this season. Shane Duffy was said to be a solid PL centre-back, but had a nightmare spell. Jonjoe Kenny is meant to be worth £10m [Daily Mirror], but you can decide yourself whether he’s worth half of that.
Carlton Cole, Juninho (that one hurt), even Steve Guppy. Countless names have arrived from the Best League in the World and failed to reach the expected heights. Often, it doesn’t work. But at the risk of sounding like Tobias Fünke, it might work for these guys.
By now, you might realise we love a bargain here at 67 Hail Hail. And with so much talent available for free this summer, there’s value to be had. Again, for the millionth time: Celtic’s squad rebuild needn’t cost the earth.
So, who are these lucky candidates? Between these three, there are 74 senior international caps, plenty of experience and in one case, a possible talent for the future. We know Celtic can attract big names, and these guys could fill spaces in the squad where reinforcements are desperately needed.
Kyle Edwards: previously linked to Celtic
Celtic need wingers. As badly as Piers Morgan needs to shut up, and as much as the Bhoys need to revive the bumblebee kit, width is a must for the Hoops next season.
Kyle Edwards is a name you’ll already be familiar with. We were linked with the West Brom man back in December [Sun], with Rekeem Harper also being mentioned. Granted, that report also claims Nick Hammond was the one driving Celtic’s interest.
Don’t let that put you off, though. Edwards comes with pedigree. Comfortable on either wing, the Dudley-born 23-year-old is available for nothing this summer. Formerly of Exeter City, Edwards has played a little under 50 matches for West Brom, and has been capped at youth international level by England.
At his best as an attacking left-winger, Edwards isn’t the most prolific, but his pace, trickery and passing make him a viable candidate to potentially replace Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Danny Rose: Premier League veteran
Oh Danny Rose, the Bhoys, the Bhoys are calling…
At 30, Danny Rose is something of a household name. The left-back, capped 29 times by England, has been at Tottenham Hotspur since 2007, although he’s taken in loan spells at Sunderland, Newcastle, Bristol City and Peterborough over his 14 years at the club.
Yes, he’s on the older side, but in terms of on-field leadership and experience, Danny Rose is a fierce competitor who would be an excellent mentor for the likes of Adam Montgomery and Greg Taylor. Still a very decent player, Rose has talked about wanting a move “up north” [Independent], and was linked with Manchester United in 2017.
In the 4 years that have passed since then, Rose has seen his playing time diminish. That’s a shame, because at his best, he’s a dynamic, mobile defender who can launch attacks from the left flank.
He might be on the pricier end of the scale. However, for Rose, it could be a chance to move closer to his family. And surely, for regular game time.
Muhamed Besic: a Premier League Broony replacement for Celtic?
For some reason, despite having 45 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s never quite “clicked” in the UK for Everton man Muhamed Besic.
An old-fashioned disruptor, Besic is a defensive midfielder in the literal sense of the term. Never able to find a consistent run of games at Goodison Park, the Bosnian has spent time on loan at Middlesbrough and Sheffield United. Reading are apparently interested [Telegraph]. However, the World Cup 2014 star, formerly of Ferencvaros, could play a starring role were he to sign for Celtic.
More that just a tough tackler, Besic has claimed he wants to show supporters his technical ability. He told FourFourTwo in 2016:
“I’m happy when the fans like me because I can tackle. For me, it’s not important if they know I have technical ability. I know that I am good technically, so that’s it.”
Celtic need ball-winners in midfield, and Besic is surely desperate to make a name for himself after a disappointing time at Everton. He could be the disruptor we need to replace Scott Brown, alongside Ivorian talent Ismaila Soro.