According to a recent report from Spanish media outlet Marca, Celtic are interested in signing 19-year-old winger Rodrigo Riquelme. The Spaniard is on the books with Atletico Madrid, but his contract is going to run down in a few months. Rangers are also said to be interested in the talented ace.

Riquelme is a regular for Atletico Madrid’s B side. He made his debut at the senior level for Los Rojiblancos this season when he appeared as a substitute in the La Liga tie against SD Eibar. That remains his only appearance in the La Liga. Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim are also said to be interested.

One of the significant reasons why Riquelme is not keen to extend his stay at Atletico is because the winger believes that he doesn’t have a clear path to the first team. That is where a club like Celtic and others can get a deal done for him.

Does Celtic need wingers?

We expect Celtic to go after wingers in the upcoming summer after they parted ways with Lewis Morgan and Scott Sinclair in January. Mohamed Elyounoussi has impressed on loan at Parkhead but signing him would mean Celtic will have to spend a substantial amount on him. Someone like Riquelme might turn out to be a cost-effective signing for the Bhoys.

Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic, looks on ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Ross County at Celtic Park on January 25, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

However, Celtic already have so-called ‘project players’ at their disposal who have barely contributed. Marian Shved and Daniel Arzani are prime examples of that. Both of them are wingers but have struggled to get anywhere near the first team. Riquelme will also be in a similar boat, atleast at the beginning. Hence, many might feel that Celtic should look to sign proven players.

Should Celtic consider getting Riquelme?

However, it cannot be denied that Riquelme is a unique talent and making a debut at 19 for Spanish heavyweights Atletico Madrid isn’t easy. The youngster is known for his exemplary dribbling skills and impressive pace. The winger impressed in the UEFA Youth League this campaign where he has managed two goals and four assists in 7 appearances. Out of that, three assists came against Rangers’ youth side. Hence, he might already be liked at Celtic.

But with intense competition for his signature, Celtic might find it hard to lure him. They already have two young and upcoming wingers in Shved and Arzani who are not getting many chances. Therefore Riquelme might be sceptical of moving there. Moreover, we barely see Spanish talents moving to Scotland given the difference in game style. The Premiership could be a bit too physical and nasty for someone like Riquelme. Nevertheless, Celtic should be on his case in the summer as he could be available on a free transfer.

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.