Monday, December 5, 2022

Forget Shawcross: 3 Alternatives Who Will Strengthen Celtic Defensively Including This Swansea City Star!

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Another exciting football campaign just concluded a few days back, but the outlets and betting sites are already rounding up plenty of transfer updates and rumours. The bizarre story of 30-year-old Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross and his possible move to Celtic baffled many when they were as high as second favourites to land the Englishman according to odds given by Bet Victor. However, those have now disappeared which implies a premature ending of this transfer gossip.

The Parkhead outfit have maintained their supremacy in Scottish football over the past decade and won their seventh consecutive Premiership glory with a thumping 5-0 victory over age-old rivals Rangers late April. The Gers, however, are likely to throw a bigger challenge this term under new manager Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers, the current Celtic boss who was in charge at the Anfield during the iconic Liverpool legend’s final years in Merseyside, is likely to strengthen themselves further to maintain their superiority.

The Hoops, meanwhile, should be eyeing to add more central defensive options alongside Dedryck Boyata and teenager Kristoffer Ajer who were the preferred centre-backs throughout the previous campaign.

Celtic, therefore, must eye for a defensive reinforcement and here are three options who would add depth as well as quality en route to their yet another productive campaign.

Cedric Kipre

Age: 21

Club: Motherwell

Country: Ivory Coast

The young centre-back was released by Leicester City last year but a successful trial at Motherwell earned him a one-year deal under manager Stephen Robinson who handed him a first-team role due to his physical and aerial supremacy inside the box and impressive sense of positioning.

Kipre turned out to be one of the best defensive performers of the league and played a huge role in guiding the Well to reach the final of both the domestic Cup competitions. His excellence earned him his maiden international cap for Ivory Coast U23s and despite penning a new two-year deal back in April, the defender can be tied down for the right fee.

Kyle  Bartley 

Age: 27

Club: Swansea City

Country: England

The centre-back joined Swansea City back in 2012 from Arsenal but remained among the reserves and spent his time on loan to Championship sides. The Swans have been relegated to the second tier this year, but the future of the centre-back at Liberty Stadium is still uncertain. He had a loan spell at Rangers previously during his Gunners days and a permanent move to Scotland will help him finally to settle in and play football in a league where his towering presence will help the Hoops to maintain a defensive resilience.

Ahmed Hegazi

Age: 27

Club: West Brom

Country: Egypt

The Egyptian has been the part of a relegated West Brom side, but his towering presence in deep defensive line earned applauds of many and the summer signing from Al Ahly is likely to have a new club next summer. His performance in the prestigious World Cup event will matter too and Celtic must join the chase of the 6 ft 4 in centre-back to offer him a massively important role in the deep defensive line of the Scottish champions.

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