Reported Celtic January transfer target struggling after Bhoys speculation

By Euan Davidson

November 16, 2021

Reported Celtic January transfer target Lee Buchanan has had a mixed few weeks after speculation of a move from Derby County dominated headlines.

As covered by the Sun’s Alan Nixon, Buchanan has been scouted by Celtic, who are looking for a long-term answer at left-back. Although Greg Taylor started the season well, he’s yet to truly win over supporters. Boli Bolingoli, Liam Scales and Josip Juranovic have also played at left-back, the latter to excellent effect.

However, Buchanan hasn’t been at this best since the links re-emerged. It’s been a torrid time for the cash-strapped Rams, who sit bottom of the EFL Championship. They haven’t won any of their last six games [WhoScored?].

Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Buchanan, unfortunately, hasn’t really stood out. Against Coventry City, the left-back conceded a penalty, and had a difficult time defending the Sky Blues [Derby Telegraph].

He came on as a substitute in a loss to Barnsley, picking up a yellow card [Derby Telegraph], although he improved somewhat against Millwall. Overall, he’s not been particularly impressive statistically. In his Championship appearances, he’s only connecting with 50% of his passes [WhoScored?].

Equally, he’s only making 0.6 interceptions per 90 [WhoScored?], and his first touches haven’t been overwhelmingly confident either.

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Of course, there are factors; Derby County are terrible this season. They went into administration earlier this year [BBC], and were subsequently docked 12 points.

At the time of writing, the storied English side lay rock bottom of the Championship, with just 6 points on the board [EFL].

Is reported Celtic January transfer target Lee Buchanan an answer for Celtic? Championship form certainly has caveats

It’s difficult to assess a player’s form, given the circumstances. Some world-class players would probably struggle at Derby County this season. Wayne Rooney has a monumental job keeping the Rams in the Championship.

Therefore, is it fair to judge reported Celtic January transfer target Lee Buchanan on his performances this season? You could argue not. However, there’s still enough to suggest that Buchanan has struggled, especially since the links to Celtic re-emerged.

There are definite concerns there. Of course, he’d have less to do defensively were he to move north. His passing and dribbling stats, though, don’t indicate he’d necessarily be an upgrade on what we have now.

Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Would Buchanan be a marked improvement on Boli Bolingoli, for example? Let alone Greg Taylor, who surely remains first-choice when fit?

It’s hard to say. The gamble here would be in insisting that Buchanan would be far more comfortable playing in Postecoglou’s system. If he and the scouting team believe the specific attributes are there, then it’d be hard to fault the logic.

On his showings in recent weeks, though, making a case for him is more difficult.

Read more: “I kept getting excuses”; Former Celtic scout on why £75m colossus didn’t leave Parkhead sooner