Felix Nmecha, released by Manchester City, should be turning Celtic heads

By Euan Davidson

July 6, 2021

Remember when Celtic were linked with former Manchester City Development manager Enzo Maresca?

Well, Maresca since joined Parma, where he’s made use of his contacts to sign Adrián Bernabé, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Maresca, who has his work cut out bringing Parma back to Serie A, is using his wealth of contacts in the City Group sphere to sign players. What does that have to do with Celtic?

Well, cast your mind back a few months, when this Celtic website was touting a Manchester City youth prospect, managed by Enzo Maresca. One who was turning heads in the Premier League 2, and starring for two titans at youth international level.

His name is Felix Nmecha, and we’re sure through his own City Group connections, Ange Postecoglou will be well aware of him. A prolific creator and scorer at youth level [Transfermarkt], Nmecha is a surprising name to have been let go by the Citizens.

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So here’s our part; sign the guy. He’s very good at football.

Why Felix Nmecha could have an important role at Celtic after Manchester City departure

Nmecha was released by Manchester City this week [Manchester Evening News]. A youth international for both Germany and England, the midfielder offers an attacking threat across multiple positions. Primarily an attacking midfielder, Nmecha can play off the left-wing, up front or deeper in the middle. In one game as a striker, he’s scored. So that kind of positional flexibility can only help a rebuild.

Nmecha: a winner at youth level / (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Furthermore, his age, potential and sell-on value are through the roof. A couple of good seasons with Celtic would see his transfer value skyrocket, especially having played for England at youth level. The price of promising English youngsters is higher than it’s ever been, and while we’re not talking Sancho or Rice money, Nmecha would be a solid investment.

But perhaps that’s cynical. What about his play style?

Surprisingly tall for a creative player, Nmecha can hold the ball up extremely well, finding passes or providing a physical threat up top. His first touch, from clips of Premier League 2 action, is absolutely sublime. He doesn’t mind having several defenders around him; Nmecha seems to play at a different pace from the opposition.

In terms of goals and assists, he had an impressive 20-21, making his release all the more confusing. He scored 9 and set up 2, primarily from midfield. That was in just 19 games [Transfermarkt]. Amongst more experience colleagues, he could easily repeat similar numbers in the Scottish Premiership.

Goalscorer: Felix Nmecha / (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus/Getty Images)

A goalscoring midfielder? Sign us up

It’s the range of his goals, too. Highlights reels are unreliable at best, but they do provide some insight. This one, for example, shows he needs little recoil to put a well-placed finish past any keeper. His shooting is accurate from inside and outside the box, and he’s particularly good at controlling the ball with his chest and hitting on the half volley.

Will we face competition for his signature, should Celtic launch a bid? Most definitely. But if we’re going to be relatively closely associated with City Group (and that’s another long, long column for another time), we’re as well taking advantage of the situation here.

Another cross-border compensation deal for someone who could entertain, contribute and then garner us millions? Sounds good to us.

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