Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Celtic Have Identified Former Leeds Flop As Edouard’s Successor: What Should Postecoglou Do?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from French outlet Hommedumatch is believed to be true, Celtic have identified Jean-Kevin Augustin as a potential summer target. The Nantes forward has entered the final year of his Canaries contract and the Hoops are assessing him as Odsonne Edouard’s Parkhead successor.

The 24-year-old Frenchman progressed through the youth ranks of Paris St-Germain. There he remained as the understudy to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, before being roped in by RB Leipzig four years back. Despite an impressive start, Augustin could not cement a starting status under Ralf Rangnick.

The Red Bulls accepted Monaco’s loan (with an option to buy) offer in the summer of 2019, however, the attacker could not make his presence known ahead of Wissam Ben Yedder, Islam Slimani, Stevan Jovetić and Keita Baldé Diao. His spell was cut short in winter as the player plied his trade at Leeds (on an initial loan) rejecting Manchester United’s bid in order to work with Marcelo Bielsa.

But things did not end up well at Elland Road. Although the Whites grabbed promotion, the former France youth international failed to make it to Bielsa’s plans. The Yorkshire giants decided not to make the deal permanent which led to controversies and legal issues. The COVID-19 pandemic led to further complications and both Leipzig and Leeds eventually handed written permission to let him join Nantes on a free transfer.

Celtic target Jean-Kévin Augustin during his RB Leipzig days
Fussball Bundesliga – 17/18 – SC Freiburg – RB Leipzig – 20-01-2018 Jean-Kévin Augustin (RB Leibzig 29), beim Fussball Bundesliga Spiel zwischen dem SC Freiburg und RB Leipzig, am Samstag, den 20. Januar 2018 im Schwarzwald-Stadion in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Both Celtic And Augustin Should Go For It

The ‘number 9’, meanwhile, hardly featured for the Ligue 1 outfit due to long covid, a club statement revealed. The Yellow House survived a relegation scare last season via playoff and might opt for bolstering the squad for the upcoming term. A minuscule figure would still hand them a financial profit as Augustin arrived on a Bosman in the autumn of 2020.

Celtic, on the other hand, were having a sigh of relief when Edouard’s transfer to Leicester City collapsed at the eleventh hour. But a recent report from the Daily Mail has suggested Brighton & Hove Albion’s interest in the £20m-rated Frenchman. Postecoglou has only got Leigh Griffiths and Albian Ajeti as the other outright striking options and a move for the Nantes star would see the ex-Socceroos chief replacing ‘French Eddie’ with his former PSG teammate.

Augustin, once included by Lionel Messi in his 10 brightest young players’ list, has lost his track in recent years. But a move to Celtic would hand him an opportunity to reclaim the limelight and restore his reputation as a versatile frontman.

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