3 midfielders for Celtic to watch at Euro 2020
Yesterday, my colleague David Walton identified some top defensive talents for Celtic to watch at Euro 2020.
It was a good read. If it was up to me, David would be chief scout at Parkhead, with an unlimited budget. Alas, the two of us are humble writers, scouring the squad lists for achievable Hoops targets.
Just as my colleague tackled the defensive deficiencies at Celtic, I’ve been tasked with running things in the middle. There are countless excellent midfielders at Euro 2020, including superstars like Paul Pogba, Toni Kroos and David Turnbull.
Amongst the superstars, there are some really good finds, who would be well within Celtic’s budget. Just who are they, and what could they bring to the Bhoys’ squad?
Luka Ivanušec: could have a breakout Euro 2020 campaign
Ivanušec, who can play in the middle or on the left of a three, featured an incredible 48 times for Dinamo in 20-21, with the Zagreb side featuring in the Europa League as well as winning the 1.HNL by a considerable distance. In those appearances, Ivanušec scored 9 goals and set up 5.
Fine, not remarkable numbers, but he has a history of being productive. With a low centre of gravity and excellent vision, Ivanušec likes to pick up the ball from deep and loft a through ball to his fellow attackers. A quality dribbler, the Croat tends to cut inside from the left and can beat players with consummate ease.
If he gets on for Croatia in this tournament, it preferably won’t be against Scotland. An entertainer who poses problems for any defender, the 22-year-old is a handful. Celtic could rue missing out on the young midfielder, especially if he has a breakout Euro 2020.
Celtic need a left winger. Kamil Jozwiak of Derby County and Poland is exactly that.
Jozwiak, who can play on either flank, has been one of few bright lights for Rams fans from a difficult 20-21 season. In the end, former Celtic man Patrick Roberts helped to save the storied side from dropping to League One.
The Polish left winger has 13 caps for his national side, having impressed at youth level. Having progressed through every Poland youth side, it’s no surprise to see the esteem he’s held in by Paulo Sousa. He’s repaid that faith, with 2 goals in his baker’s dozen of appearances.
Likely to feature relatively often during Poland’s Euro 2020 campaign, the County winger is valued at at £3.6m by Transfermarkt, having joined from Lech Poznan last summer. While his 1 goal 3 assists in the Championship don’t stand out, he’s done well in smaller sample sizes. For Poland, he was 1 goal and 1 assist from 6 outings, while in Europa League qualifying, he set up a goal in a single appearance for Poznan.
Given how much Celtic need to reinforce on the left-wing, it could well be prudent for the Bhoys’ scouts to watch Poland in this tournament.
Jens-Lys Cajuste – a surprise call-up for Euro 2020?
FC Midtjylland have a habit of recruiting well. The Danish side of choice for the more esoterically-inclined (or “football hipsters”, if you prefer) signed midfielder Jens-Lys Cajuste from second-tier Swedish outfit Örgryte in 2018, and the Swedish-American has been a revelation.
Cajuste, who shares an agency with Son Hueng-Min, Raphael Varane and Dele Alli, is a hotly-tipped prospect. At just 21, the defensive midfielder will be adding to his 4 Sweden caps, having already won a Danish League and Cup during his burgeoning career.
Lille, Monaco and Rennes are interested, according to Foot Mercato, while reports in Germany insist Borussia Mönchengladbach are keen [Bundesliga News]. That shows the esteem Cajuste is held in around Europe. A clever passer, with a solid 6’1″ frame, Cajuste would be an excellent Scott Brown replacement.
The Göteborg-born midfielder is tipped to play a big role for Sweden alongside Mikael Lustig and Jordan Larsson. Let’s face it: we’ll be watching the Swedes anyway. While you are, keep an eye on the 21-year-old Danish league star.