If reports from Algeria are believed to be true (as claimed by the Scottish Sun), Celtic are plotting a winter swoop for Entente de Setif midfielder Ahmed Kendouci. They have even contacted Madjid Bougherra, the former Rangers centre-back, to know more about the player’s attributes before stepping up the chase.
The 22-year-old Algeria international progressed through the youth ranks of Setif before breaking into their senior side three years ago. He eventually secured a starting role in the middle of the park and has fired in 17 goals and laid on 13 more in 78 appearances across competitions. Kendouci has a cap for his country but failed to make the cut in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, the youngster is under contract at Stade 8 Mai 1945 until the summer of 2024. He is valued at around £1m and manager Nabil Kouki has urged the management to retain his services for the remainder of the current campaign.
“The board of this club must make a statement that we should keep our best players and indeed, strengthen the squad. So I very much hope Ahmed Kendouci remains with the club despite the recent speculation.”
Told Kouki who missed out on the league glory last season after losing an array of key personnel during the transfer window. ESS are just two points off the top of the league standings and the gaffer does not want a repeat of the previous term’s disappointment by letting Kendouci leave.
Celtic have already roped in the Japanese trio of Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi. However, a late move from Middlesbrough has jeopardized their chase for Riley McGree and the Hoops, therefore, have shifted their focus on the Algerian midfield prodigy.
What Would Kendouci Offer In Celtic Midfield
Although he began his career as a deep-lying playmaker or ‘number 6’, his vision and versatility helped Kendouci grow his all-round ability. He has operated from the wide, exhibited his expertise as a ‘number 10′ but is more suited in a box-to-box role that allows him to drive the show with his ball-carrying attribute.
Having said that, the rising midfield sensation must fight for his place with Ideguchi and Hatate. The Bhoys already have the likes of Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic, David Turnbull, Nir Bitton and James McCarthy in their ranks and the growing competition would offer depth as well as quality going forward. The Algerian holds a bright future ahead of him and it is to be seen now whether the board succeeds to strike a deal before the window is slammed shut in a couple of weeks’ time.