Brandon Soppy: the hotly-tipped Frenchman who could fix huge Celtic problem
If you’re familiar French defender Brandon Soppy, then fair play: he’s been linked with a move to Celtic before. Last year, the Rennes full-back talked openly about his future.
Whether that future involves Celtic, 12 months on, is really for the board and the player himself to decide. But who is 19-year-old Brandon Soppy, and what could he bring to Celtic?
From the outset, it looks like a familiar kind of move for the Bhoys to make. Given the success we’ve had from the French market, namely Jullien and Edouard, this already sounds promising on paper. Soppy has been a mainstay of France’s heralded youth set up. He made a whopping 21 appearances for the U17s [Transfermarkt].
So, the pedigree is there. As for his playing style? If he comes to Celtic, expect some excitement.
His surname may be Soppy, but he’s a tough tackling, pacy right-back who can both stop the opposition and cause them problems down the flank. In limited Ligue 1 appearances last season, Soppy average nearly 1 completed dribble per 90, and was fouled 1.5 times per game [WhoScored?].
What that actually means in real terms: this is a guy who outpaces opposition, creates set-piece opportunities and likes to run at defenders. As for defending, he’s a voracious tackler, averaging over 2 per 90 minutes.
Primarily a right-back, Soppy can play in the middle if required. While some will be concerned by his lack of game-time last season, he’s just 19. He was in 9 Ligue 1 matches in 20-21, and competed twice in the Champions League. Given his tender years, that’s some pretty excellent experience to have.
Brandon Soppy could solve long-standing Celtic issue
It bears repeating; we don’t have right-backs that Celtic supporters are comfortable with.
With the best will in the world, Anthony Ralston doesn’t seem to inspire a great deal of confidence from supporters. He still hasn’t had a sufficient run in the side to make a proper evaluation. Lee O’Connor has looked relatively sharp in pre-season, but doesn’t quite seem ready yet.
At just 19, Soppy looks like he could be a guy to step in and make the position his own. While we have to add a prefix to any “highlights” compilation, there’s evidence he absolutely loves rampaging into the opposition half [YouTube]. As an inverted winger, he looks for opportunities to cut inside, with a right-winger operating closer to the flank. That creates unfavourable defensive scenarios for opposition defences, being overrun around their own 18-yard box.
He’s nowhere near the finished article, but Brandon Soppy is a player with enormous potential. He’s also represented by the same agency firm as Odsonne Edouard and Kieran Tierney [Transfermarkt], who undoubtedly know how good Celtic can be at developing talents.
The signs are good. If we can get him through the door, Celtic fans are going to enjoy what Brandon Soppy can bring.
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