Recently reports (Leicestershire Live) had emerged that Celtic might look to bring Filip Benkovic on loan again after his success last season at Parkhead. The Croatian centre back has failed to get any game time at Leicester City in the Premier League, and his only major appearance came in the FA Cup.
Brendan Rodgers gave a hint that Benkovic could be made available on loan if the club goes on to sign another centre back. However, Neil Lennon was coy when asked about the possibility of signing Benkovic in the last few days of the transfer window.
Lennon responds to Benkovic rumours
The Celtic boss said (The Scotsman), ”I don’t know is the answer (On whether a return in on the cards for Benkovic). I only worked with Filip for a short term, but I know he had a good impact here last season, so hopefully, we’ll be looking to bring one or two in this week.”
Benkovic played a significant role in helping Celtic achieve the ‘treble-treble’. The defender missed a good chunk of the second half of the campaign due to injury, but he was impeccable in the first half of the season. The Croatian showed impressive defensive qualities.
Benkovic read the dangers well, and he was usually at the right place at the right time to take care of the threat. His height and physicality helped Celtic dominate the physical battle in defence. To top it all off, Benkovic was calm and composed with the ball at his feet, and he was comfortable playing out from the back.
It has been surprising that the defender has failed to make a breakthrough at Leicester City this season. However, Jonny Evans has been rock solid at the back, and the emergence of Caglar Soyuncu has made it hard for Benkovic to make it into the team. As a backup choice, the club has Wes Morgan who is an experienced defender and also captains the side when he plays.
Does Celtic need him?
Celtic have a decent amount of options at the back. Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic are the three main centre-halves. Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed can also fill in that role when required, and they have impressed with their versatility this season. Hence, signing a centre half isn’t a necessity for Lennon, and that’s why he was probably undecided about Benkovic. Moreover, if it is only going to be a loan move, then it doesn’t make much sense.
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