Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Celtic Pushing For The Signing Of This Ligue 2 Defensive Star: An Ideal Acquisition For Lennon?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to France Football, Celtic are among the clubs interested in Kiki Kouyate. The Troyes centre-back has been identified as a potential option for Neil Lennon as he looks to bolster his defensive options in the summer. The report suggests Celtic will need to fork out €4.5 million to sign Soumare. But, they could face stiff competition from Old Firm rivals Rangers as well as Bundesliga giants Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Kiki Kouyate: Player profile

Kouyate has been a part of the Troyes side since January 2019, when he joined from Sporting CP. He has since become a vital part of the club’s backline, having already made 31 competitive appearances. This season, in particular, the defender has featured in 18 games, helping his side compete for promotion.

Standing at 1.92m, Kouyate has impressed the onlookers with his defensive commitment and work-rate. His imposing frame, in that regard, has given him a massive advantage in both physical and aerial duels. It is combined with his ability to break up the play and cut off opponent’s passing lanes.

Another key observation from Kouyate’s game is his discipline. The Malian international often sticks to his defensive task and isn’t afraid to get his body on the line.

Celtic are among clubs interested in Kiki Kouyate - An ideal target for the Hoops
03 BOUBAKAR KOUYATE TRO FOOTBALL : Le Havre vs Troyes – Dominos Ligue 2 – 27/01/2020 FEP/Panoramic PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxITAxBEL

More interestingly, however, the Troyes centre-back has scored five goals – making him one of the highest-scoring defenders in Ligue 2 this term. And his overall tally of seven goals in 31 games serves as an indicator of Kouyate’s aerial prowess and the fact that he is a definite threat from set-pieces.

Should Celtic make a move for Kouyate?

Celtic could be needing a bit of reformation in the defensive department this summer. Their defensive stalwart Kristoffer Ajer has been linked with a move to Premier League which should create a massive void in the backline.

Although new signing Christopher Jullien has done exceedingly well, the lack of a proper alternative to Ajer could put Neil Lennon in big trouble next season. That’s exactly where Kouyate could come into the fray.

The Malian international’s robust defensive nature and unrivalled physical strength are just exactly what Celtic need at the moment. He could build a formidable defensive partnership alongside the more calming presence of Jullien.

While Kouyate, by no means, is an ideal replacement for Ajer, he can definitely add more depth into the Celtic backline. Moreover, for a fee of just €4.5 million, he could be no short of a bargain signing for the Hoops this summer.

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