3 Scottish stars Celtic ought to target in the summer
For being the biggest club in the country, Celtic probably do not bring enough Scottish players into the club.
Whether from domestic football or further afield, Scots hold extensive prior knowledge of Celtic alongside a recognisability to Hoops supporters. Out of the last 30 acquisitions the Celts have made, only four of them hail from Scottish shores [Transfermarkt].
Without further ado, here are three Scottish players Celtic could sign to bolster the squad moving into 2021/22
1. Ryan Gauld
First in line, Ryan Gauld is a familiar face to those who follow the Scottish Premiership. Starting his career at Dundee United, the 25-year-old then incredibly moved to Sporting Lisbon at 18-years-of-age for £3 million [BBC Sport].
Now with Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit SC Farense, the playmaker has really started to fulfil the promise he showed as a youngster. This season, the Aberdonian has registered seven goals and five assists from 26 top-flight appearances [Transfermarkt]. Currently in the relegation zone, these statistics are very commendable.
Intriguingly, he also captains the club and lead Leões de Faro to a surprise promotion triumph in 2019/20, finishing as their leading goal-scorer [PortuGOAL]. Being able to handle responsibility is a huge part of the winning culture at Celtic. Gauld absolutely has these capabilities in his locker. An orchestrator in attack, he averages 2.3 key passes per 90 minutes which shows he is regularly involved in chance creation [WhoScored].
Contractually, Gauld is available for nothing in the summer which has drawn interest from former club Sporting Lisbon [The Scottish Sun]. He would be a no-brainer signing for Celtic in their upcoming summer rebuild.
2. Lyndon Dykes
Perhaps a controversial suggestion, Lyndon Dykes is someone who would definitely improve the Hoops forward line. After spells in Scottish football with Queen of the South and Livingston, he signed for Queens Park Rangers for just under £2 million last August [Sky Sports].
In his debut season in the English Championship, Dykes has reached double figures scoring 11 goals from 39 outings thus far [Transfermarkt]. Celtic have lacked variety up-top for quite some time, something that the Australian-born striker would solve. He is presently 25 years old, however there is a consensus he has not yet reached his ceiling yet as a footballer.
The Hoops have not had an out-ball to utilise in pressurised situations in 2020/21 or a target to hit. Odsonne Edouard likes to drift, whilst strikers Albian Ajeti and Leigh Griffiths are best served in the penalty area. Dykes retains a controlled aggression to his play allowing him to dominate defenders, as seen for club and country.
He has won an incredible 4.8 aerial duels per match for QPR, whereas within Scotland’s Nations League campaign he won a median of 7.2 [WhoScored]. Like him or loathe him, he is a constant threat to the opposition back-line.
Valued at around £1.80 million on Transfermarkt, Celtic could do a lot worse than to pursue his services going forward.
3. Lewis Ferguson
Though a contentious nominee due to his family’s links with the other side of Glasgow, there is no doubt Lewis Ferguson would improve a stagnating Celtic midfield.
Pivotal to Aberdeen, he has produced eight goals and four assists in 30 encounters this campaign [Transfermarkt]. As Scott Brown gets set to depart Celtic for the North East, a move in the other direction may suit the 21-year-old.
In the spirit of Scottish players, a triangle of Ferguson, Callum McGregor and David Turnbull would be an appealing proposition. Tenacity, driving runs and a sprinkling of flair would just be some of the components of this theoretically well-oiled midfield. Outside of Glasgow, the former Hamilton man is widely regarded as the best midfielder in the Scottish Premiership.
Adding some bite, he has shown his bravery succeeding in around 2.2 aerial duels per game [WhoScored]. Hearteningly, Ferguson also wins 1.8 tackles per contest showing he isn’t afraid to put himself about [WhoScored]. Statistically, he has proven himself in both attacking and defensive metrics.
The most obvious potential target on the list, Celtic should prioritise his signature this summer due to the need for an anchor man of his ilk.
In other news, we take a look at the 2021 Celtic debutant who’s been mysteriously forgotten about since January.