Filip Benkovic has been the mainstay of Celtic’s defence ever since he has been hundred per cent fit and the Hoops have let in just one goal in the last five games that too against last season’s Europa League quarterfinalist RB Leipzig. The 21-year-old centre-back was signed in the last few days of the transfer window by Brendan Rodgers when the former Liverpool manager secured a season-long loan deal from Leicester City for the defender who was signed this summer only by the Foxes.
Rodgers recently opened up about the possibility of a permanent transfer and said (via The Scottish Sun),”Filip is here on a loan period and Leicester have the opportunity to take him back in January. He is really happy here and Leicester let us have him for a reason – which was to come and get game time and prepare him for the Premier League next season.
The likelihood is that this is a very difficult deal but if there was an opportunity it was one we would look at for sure. He is a big talent, but lots of these players from around Europe want to play in the Premier League. He is at a big club with Leicester bit has come to a very big club here to get experience and is loving every second of it. We will have to wait and see what transpires over the next couple of months.”
It’s clear that the things are not in Rodgers or Celtic’s hand at the moment and Claude Puel can recall the youngster in January. What makes the recall even more likely are the strong rumours that Manchester United can come in hard for England and Leicester’s centre-back Harry Maguire.
Puel would have thought that with the likes of Harry Maguire, Wes Morgan, Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey at the club, the Croatian would find it tough to get game time. However, we believe from the pieces of evidence which the youngster has shown in Scotland, Benkovic could very much be ready to take on the challenge of the Premier League. Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans are already in their thirties and with Maguire’s future uncertain, Benkovic could easily turn up for his parent club by the turn of the new year.
The former Dinamo Zagreb defender looked solid and composed at the back, and along with that he has the ability to be comfortable on the ball like all modern day defenders. His aerial prowess are second to none and there are absolutely no glaring weakness in the youngster’s game.
Celtic would keep their fingers crossed and hope that the 21-year-old can stick at Celtic Park until the end of the season. In any case, the club should look to add a centre-half in January as Dedryck Boyata’s future is also pretty much uncertain.