Celtic have been heavily linked (Daily Record) with Huddersfield Town’s right back Tommy Smith in the last few days and reports had emerged that the English club will demand £4m for the defender. Now the Terriers have gone on to complete the permanent signing of Borussia Dortmund II right back Herbert Bockhorn. This very much looks like Huddersfield are preparing for life without Smith and we think that a move to Celtic now could be on the cards.
Have Celtic made a mistake?
Reports earlier had mentioned that the Hoops would look to pay somewhere around the £3m mark for the English right back. It is surprising to see that Celtic are yet to sign a right back with the Champions League qualifiers starting soon.
The club lost as many as three right-sided fullbacks in this window as Mikael Lustig, Jeremy Toljan and Cristian Gamboa all departed from the club. Lennon only has 20-year-old Anthony Ralston for that position who is still vastly inexperienced at the top level.
We believe that Celtic could have tried to complete their transfers early and fullback is a major concern for them. The Hoops completed the signing of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo who is expected to fill in at left-back as Kieran Tierney is still out with injury.
Will Smith solve Celtic’s right back woes?
The English fullback is in the final year of his contract at the club. The Terriers do have an option of triggering a year-long extension, but after the signing of Bockhorn, it seems unlikely to us that the club will keep Smith.
The 27-year-old was a fan favourite at the club, and he even captained Huddersfield. The fullback played a crucial role in getting them to the Premier League by winning the Championship playoffs and against all the odds, they managed to stay in the top flight for two seasons before going down this year. He managed just 15 appearances in the Premier League last season as he struggled to get regular game time. Smith’s playing time was hindered further by a hamstring injury.
Smith is a defensively reliable fullback who might not be one of the best around while going forward. We think that he can do a job for Celtic as he has got the experience of the Premier League under his belt and the Warrington born fullback is also known as a leader at the back.
£4m seems a reasonable fee for someone who played in the English top flight in the last two seasons. Celtic’s situation in terms of right back is dire, and Smith can be a dependable option to have even though he might not be that flashy or eye-catching.
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