Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Celtic Targeting This Croatian Sensation: Can He Solve Rodgers’ Defensive Woes?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

After clinching the domestic treble last season, Celtic have kept their winning momentum up and running and have chiselled yet another smashing start to their domestic season this time around as well. Under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, the Celts have collected 26 points from their first 10 games in the Scottish Premiership and are placed at the top of the league table, with their latest 3-0 away win against Aberdeen giving the latest reminder about the quality in their arsenal.

However, one of the headaches for Rodgers this season has been the constancy of injuries to his defensive personnel. On plenty of occasions, the former Liverpool boss had been forced to employ midfielder Nir Bitton at the heart of his defence, which hasn’t yielded substantial dividends for the Glasgow based outfit.

With the injuries, particularly to Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko, Rodgers has already started to put some players on his radar for to beef up his defence in order to solve the woe.

Apparently, one of the latest reports by the Scottish Sun has stated that the Hoops are keeping a close eye on Dinamo Zagreb’s central defender Filip Benkovic. Benkovic emerged through the youth ranks of the Blues and was highly regarded for his fine calibre which enabled his progress.

He became a part of the senior side of Dinamo in the 2015-16 season and has been inking decent performances for them in Prva HNL, thus gaining a lot of attention from the football fraternity.

A tall and commanding defender, Benkovic offers tremendous situational awareness as he is a shrewd player in reading the opposition’s attacking endeavours.

His tactical understanding of the game is quite outstanding considering his age and not only he is a good man-marker but is someone who is quite confident with the ball and who makes tackles and interceptions in an exemplary manner, more often than not. Besides, he is good in the air and possesses the requisite pace and acceleration to carry the ball out from the back.

The Bhoys tried to sign him during the January transfer window but the hefty price tag of £17million cooled their interest. However, they do need to strengthen their defence and thus, they might splash the cash in the next transfer window. Rodgers has perennially been a manager who strives to give the youngsters he has at his disposal the pedestal to perform and there exists no reason why Benkovic would not thrive under him if the move materializes.

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