The Celtic-linked EFL talent who now has no chance of a Parkhead move
Much has been made of the left-back situation at Celtic Park ahead of the January transfer window, with Derby County’s Lee Buchanan repeatedly linked to a move north.
Reports indicating Celtic interest in Buchanan first emerged in earnest in mid-October [Sun]. It was believed that the Bhoys wanted competition for Greg Taylor, with Boli Bolingoli, Liam Scales and Adam Montgomery not standing out.
Oddly, Croatian international right-back Josip Juranovic has made the position his own of late. However, it’s not that factor that means Celtic are unlikely to go for Buchanan. Instead, it’s his form, and an injury that’ll rule him out across much of January.
Prior to the injury, Buchanan’s form, along with his side en masse, had taken a significant dip. Nottingham Forest attempted to make a bid of up to £2m for the left-back [Nottingham Post] in the summer, but County’s determination to hold onto Buchanan might’ve cost them.
Relegation is pretty much a certainty for the Rams, who were docked another nine points earlier this month [BBC]. They have a single point to show for 20 matches thus far [EFL].
So, there are caveats. If Celtic were keen on a move now, there seems to be a lot working against it.
Celtic may look to fix left-back problem but Lee Buchanan seems a risk at this juncture
On his day, the guy is a talented player, no mistake. His 20-21 was impressive, and his caps for England at youth level indicate the talent he has there.
It’s just that signing anyone from Derby County seems riddled with issues. Let alone a player who, prior to a medium-term injury, was in and out of the Championship strugglers’ side.
That isn’t to say Celtic ought to cool their interest entirely. Buchanan’s contract runs out in the summer; it may well be the case that Postecoglou and his scouts value Buchanan as someone for the future.
That being the case, a pre-contract deal makes sense. But moving for him right now? Derby County could certainly use the money, but there’s too much against it happening imminently.
It’s certainly an area of the pitch that will be under the microscope, though. The likes of Josh Doig and Aaron Hickey won’t be available, with the former having signed a new deal at Hibs. Hickey, meanwhile, has spoken of his excitement about playing Serie A football.
In terms out outgoings, at least one of Bolingoli, Scales or Montgomery will need to leave the club in some form. The most likely of those is surely Bolingoli, while a loan for Scales might be a decent option.
Certainly, the club will make significant moves in January. Squad depth is an issue, something we saw very clearly away in Europe last week.
However, Lee Buchanan doesn’t seem like a player Celtic will be tying up a move for right now, anyway.