It's become clear the kind of midfielder Ange wants at Celtic this summer

By David Walton

June 13, 2022

Ange Postecoglou made it clear before the end of the season that he wanted to bring a midfielder to Celtic Park at some stage during the transfer window.

The Hoops suffered losses in that department when the campaign concluded with the departures of Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton respectively. And Ange believes he needs to add another to the engine room despite bringing in Matt O’Riley and Yosuke Ideguchi at the start of the season [Football Scotland].

However, it wasn’t clear exactly what kind of midfielder the manager was looking to bring in. Or who he was to replace.

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This summer, Celtic have been linked with Metz’s Kevin N’Doram [Homme du Match], Lommel’s Vinicius Souza [Daily Mail], and Mohammed Abu Fani of Maccabi Haifa [Sport 5]. Interestingly, all 3 have vast experience as a number 6 in the defensive midfield role.

N’Doram made 19 appearances in Ligue 1 last term in a holding role [Transfermarkt], with Souza doing the same on 27 occasions. And even though Abu Fani has regularly operated further up the pitch, he’s naturally been a defensive midfielder throughout his career as a whole.

Ange, then, looks to be trying to find a solid replacement for Bitton who can come into the Celtic midfield and bring some much-needed protection for the back-line.

Celtic could do with another defensive-midfielder for next season

You can see from the outside why Celtic would want another defensive mid this summer. Look at our options in the position at the moment. All we have is Yosuke Ideguchi and Ismaila Soro.

We all have real hope that Ideguchi will step up and play a big part next term, but there’s no hope for Soro. That much is clear. That then leaves us effectively putting our eggs in one basket with Yosuke. Sure, we have James McCarthy too, but let’s get real. We’re looking to evolve the squad here.

One of the biggest issues against better sides last season was the fact we left the defence far too exposed to counter-attacks. We didn’t normally operate with a proper number 6 and it showed at times. Perhaps this could potentially lead to a tactical shift at times from the manager when necessary.

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But again we saw how valuable Bitton was when he was brought on to control the midfield. It was especially important in our 2-1 win at Ibrox back in April. Without the Israeli here, there are big question marks over who could possibly fill that role.

Bringing a more natural number 6 in could also allow Callum McGregor the opportunity to be a bit more adventurous too. It just gives the manager a lot more options.

Ange will of course take a strong look at Ideguchi in the summer and, hopefully, he comes to the fore with some big performances in pre-season. But it would be wise to add another option in there, and recent reports suggest that’s what the manager is looking to do.