Monday, September 26, 2022

Celtic Battling Clubs Including Rangers For This English Speedster: Why Lennon Must Win The Race

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, as has been relayed by the Daily Record, Premiership giants Celtic are said to have identified Queens Park Rangers’ Nigerian-English speedster Bright Osayi-Samuel as their ‘top priority’ for the upcoming January transfer window. The attacker has been a member of the QPR books since the start of 2017, but worryingly, is almost into the last six months of his contract. While the Championship club will likely be hesitant to depart with him as well, interest from a club that regularly plays European football could be too much to pass up on.

Although the report has clarified that Celtic are keen on QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel in January, whether or not Parkhead is where he ends up remains to be seen. His pace and general explosiveness have caught the eyes of a number of the clubs in the continent, with the likes of Club Brugge and Crystal Palace keeping tabs on the 22-year-old. While these are worrying signs for Celtic, nothing will be more frustrating for them than to see Rangers swooping for his signature instead, with Steven Gerrard said to be looking at the attacker as a potential winter signing as well.

What Is Celtic’s Current Attack Situation?

Before the start of the season, any neutrals who follow the Scottish game would’ve likely backed Neil Lennon’s Celtic to have a stronger and more effective squad, especially when compared to Rangers. However, while Rangers used the transfer market to bring in players that made the team better as a whole, Celtic signed big-name individuals.

The sad thing from Neil Lennon’s perspective is that not even one his summer acquisitions have actually kicked on enough to capture the imagination of the Hoops faithful. Diego Laxalt remains the only positive, from what was a questionable window of business from the reigning champions.

Celtic Are Keen On QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel In January - Osayi-Samuel in action
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 05: Bright Osayi-Samuel of Queens Park Rangers celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on January 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The wide areas have been a problem position for Celtic all season, as Lennon didn’t make a single signing in the role. The injury to James Forrest hit them hard, as Ryan Christie was then forced to operate on the flank, with too much responsibility being placed on the shoulders of Mohamed Elyounoussi. The lack of a direct path to goal, through the help of a winger who can drive forward and carry the ball with him, is what this Celtic side has been calling out for all season. QPR’s Osayi-Samuel could be extremely well suited to just that, especially considering Scottish football’s generally slower pace.

What Makes Bright Osayi-Samuel A Good Option For Celtic?

The Hoops requirement for more wide options has been no secret, and considering the Nigerian-born winger’s skill-set, he could be exactly the kind of player that they need in the roster. Capable of driving past defenders using his pace and dribbling abilities, the 22-year-old also offers a composed head in the final third of the pitch.  As good as he is when charging forward with the ball, it takes nothing away from the general quality of his passing and movement in the middle of the park either. A good crosser of the ball, the partnership he could form with prodigious full-back Jeremie Frimpong could pay massive dividends for the Celts as well.

Celtic Are Keen On QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel In January: Should Lennon Go For It?

Although the year is almost over with just under half a month left until 2021 kicks in, Neil Lennon’s men currently find themselves in an extended sticky situation. Not only are they trailing Rangers by a massive points-gap, but they’re also falling behind in terms of the football that’s produced on the pitch. The lack of creativity in the attack has been painful to watch, while their defensive fragility has been coming to the fore. If Celtic have any chance of salvaging their bid for ten in a row, then January is the only possible time to do it. Signing the QPR man certainly isn’t going to guarantee a return to form, but it would have to be perceived at least as a step in the right direction.

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