Southampton have agreed on a fee with Celtic over the transfer of Stuart Armstrong. According to recent reports, the Hoops have given permission to the Scottish midfielder to finalise personal terms with the Saints ahead of the new season.
The 26-year-old penned a new two-year contract with the Bhoys last summer. However, he is eager to ply his trade in the English top-flight and his most likely destination has emerged as the St. Mary’s Stadium.
Some sources are now claiming that the South-coast outfit have agreed on an initial fee in the region of £7m plus other add-ons which are dependent on various factors being met. Armstrong has earned four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups during his time at Celtic Park. He was an integral member of Brendan Rodgers’ squad that has won back-to-back domestic trebles over the last two seasons.
The Scottish midfield talent had made 41 appearances for the Hoops last season, scoring five goals while grabbing six assists in all competitions. With Armstrong on the verge of sealing a switch to the St. Mary’s Stadium, let’s take a look at three replacements for Rodgers to consider in this role:
Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht):
The 23-year-old midfield ace is currently plying his trade at RSC Anderlecht and had put in some solid performances for the Belgian outfit during the course of last season. He has played in 44 matches for the club last term across all competitions and has one goal and three assists to his name. Dendoncker has incredible potential and could turn out to be an ideal asset under Brendan Rodgers if given the chance to make a switch to Parkhead. He is quite versatile and can operate in a number of different positions in central midfield as well as in central defence, which makes him a good fit for the Glaswegian club.
Denis Zakaria (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
The 21-year-old Swiss international was terrific for Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach last season. He is quite versatile and can operate in a number of different positions across the pitch. He can play in a defensive midfield role or in a more advanced position at the centre of the park. The Switzerland starlet can also operate as a centre-back in the backline which makes him a perfect asset for any squad. The Hoops will do well to prise him away from German football as he can turn out to be a future superstar if given a nurturing environment to shine and showcase his talents.
Rodrigo Hernández (Villarreal):
The 22-year-old has been in sensational form for Villarreal since the turn of the year and has put in some eye-catching performances in the La Liga helping his side claim a 5th placed finish in the league standings. The Spanish playmaker made 47 appearances for the Yellow Submarine and has scored one goal while providing 4 assists in all competitions last season. He can be considered as one of the best young defensive midfielders in European football and would be a good fit under Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park.
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