According to a recent report from the Scottish Sun, Celtic are in a race with Rangers to sign Gillingham’s defender Jack Tucker. The 20-year-old is being valued at £1.5m. The report adds that Celtic have consistently scouted him since the start of 2020. Premier League clubs like West Ham and Aston Villa are also said to be interested in the youngster. Championship club Brentford put in a bid of £1m in January which was rejected.
Tucker has come up from Gillingham’s academy, and he has made 31 appearances in all competitions this season. The talented centre half broke through into the first team when he was just 17. Now he has established himself for the English League One outfit. Tucker reportedly has his contract at the club until 2023.
Do Celtic need defenders?
Celtic have the likes of Christopher Jullien, Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer who are established defenders. Apart from them, Lennon can also rely on Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed to play as centre back. However, there are uncertainties about Simunovic’s future. The defender revealed recently that this is his last year. He had said in January (The Scottish Sun), “This is my last year. We’ve arranged a meeting to talk. We’ll discuss it for sure, but it’s not a problem for me right now.”
Celtic does have an option to extend his stay for another year, but that hasn’t been agreed on yet. Hence, it remains to be seen whether Simunovic would stay beyond this season or not. If he departs, then Celtic might need a replacement. In that scenario, Lennon should pull the trigger.
What are Tucker’s qualities?
Tucker is likely going to take some time before he establishes himself in the first team at Parkhead. The 20-year-old stands in at 6ft4 and is understandably a strong force in the air. He showcases decent speed for a player of that size, and that helps him in making recovering challenges if he gets beaten by players. He also has the strength and physical side to his game which is often necessary to thrive in the Premiership. We believe that with a bit of experience, Tucker can be a handy player for the Hoops.
Lennon should consider going after him in the summer, but the competition for his signature is likely going to be tough. With English top-flight clubs also interested, they will be able to offer a better financial deal to the young defender. It remains to be seen whether Celtic would be able to get him or not in the future.
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