Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Celtic In Contention To Rope In Danish Ace As Lustig’s Alternative: Should Lennon Step Up The Chase?

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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.

Celtic, despite conquering a historic treble ‘treble’, had a slow start in the summer window compared to their ‘Old Firm’ rivals Rangers. But they have finally roped in David Turnbull after a dramatic chain of events (according to BBC Sport) and are now keeping close tabs on FC Copenhagen right-back Peter Ankersen, according to the Scottish Sun.

The Hoops have appointed transfer guru Nick Hammond to scout and recruit players for the upcoming term amid a potential mass exodus. Hammond, meanwhile, must figure out a replacement of veteran Mikael Lustig as well as Jeremy Toljan and Cristian Gamboa who are set to depart upon completion of their contracts. The Danish professional would be a decent pick considering his experience and expertise for both the club and the country.

The 28-year-old defender has spent the majority of his career in Denmark and is currently enjoying his football at F.C. Copenhagen. He has been pivotal in FCK’s Superliga triumph and delivered a balanced display while operating from the right-hand flank.

His overlapping runs, pinpoint crosses and the impact high up the pitch returned one goal and eight assists in the league. Also, the composure at the back to deal with the opponents’ threats depicts his all-round ability.

Ankersen is set to be available for free next summer, and the Copenhagen outfit should be open to the idea of cashing in on their star performer over letting him leave for nothing. He has earned 22 senior caps for the Red-Whites till date and is rated highly back in his homeland for his on-field influence and utmost professionalism.

Although known for promoting the youth, Neil Lennon is unlikely to rely upon youngster Anthony Ralston as the sole right-back option for the forthcoming season. The promising Parkhead prospect had a persistent injury problem in the recent past and should be considered as a sporadic choice before he gains enough experience to feature week in week out.

He could also be deployed as a left-back, and the growing uncertainty over the future of Kieran Tierney (a transfer target of Arsenal) might see the gaffer exploring Ankersen’s versatility down the wide. His attacking attributes and directness should help him adjust to the physicality of Scottish football, but he must inject a bit more aggressiveness to his game to attain success in one of Europe’s most exciting football leagues.

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