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Celtic Involved In Battle For This Ligue 1 Starlet: Scouting Rennes Defender Brandon Soppy

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Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has told Football Insider that Scottish giants Celtic would be able to compete with any suitors for the signature of Rennes defender Brandon Soppy. The ex Aberdeen striker justified this claim by pointing to the presence of Odsonne Edouard, Olivier Ntcham and Christopher Jullien – all part of the French contingent at the Parkhead club. A prior report from French source Foot Mercato had linked the Celts with the defender, alongside Ligue 1 side AS Monaco as well as Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

With Celtic interested in Brandon Soppy, Whelan insisted that the Celts’ recent history with Frenchmen should be enough to convince the defender of a move. Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said, “Celtic are a huge club and they will have the resources to benefit this player. The French players that have gone before him may whet the appetite a little bit more. You know you will be playing in front of 60,000 every single week and winning or challenging for all domestic honours and you will be in Europe. There is a lot to like at Celtic.

How Did Brandon Soppy First Make A Name For Himself?

Born in the French suburb of Aubervilliers, just outside of the capital city Paris, the youngster began his footballing career with various local clubs, before eventually finding a switch to the Rennes youth system back in 2017. Having made the switch to the academy of a Ligue 1 club, it seemed to reinvigorate the defender’s desire to make it in the big time, as the sheer amount of work and effort he put in was apparent to see.

Now 18, the defender has already made his way into the Rennes reserve squad, while he’s also featured a few times in the UEFA Youth League – a tournament where Soppy picked up his first assist at this level. Yet to break into the Rennes first-team though, the defender obviously still has a long way to go before becoming a regular at any club in the world. The Rennes ace has been representing France at the youth level for quite a while now, and he’s notched just under 40 appearances across the various age levels.

Celtic Interested In Brandon Soppy - Soppy in action during a match
BELGRADE, SERBIA – APRIL 01: Brandon Soppy (R) of France in action against Adrian Mojzis (L) of Slovakia during the Elite Round Group B match between France U17 and Slovakia U17 at Stadium Zemun on April 1, 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

What Would Soppy Add To This Celtic Side?

A right-back by position, the youngster also can play as one of the centre-halves if required. Fairly tall and physically well-built, the Frenchman has all the right attributes to become a regular in any side gradually. The 18-year-old does seem quite adept tactically, with discipline being the only area of concern.

Although issues with discipline is something that will recede with age, the fact remains that Soppy still has a lot of developing to do. The youngster though tends to position himself exceptionally well and is also capable of stepping up and making the odd interception.

Celtic Interested In Brandon Soppy: Should Lennon Go For It?

The question marks surrounding the future of Kristoffer Ajer will surely be one of Neil Lennon’s biggest concerns going into the summer transfer window. The Norwegian’s presence at the back has been a saving grace for the Hoops on multiple occasions over the last couple of seasons, and as good as Soppy is, he isn’t even nearly on the same level as Ajer.

In time though, the Frenchman could develop into a top defensive talent, and taking into account the history that Celtic have with young French players, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Soppy become a regular at Parkhead for a long time to come.

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