Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Celtic Identify Norwegian Attacker Over Potential Summer Transfer: Why They Must Step Up Interest

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from the Daily Mail (as quoted by the Daily Record) is believed to be true, Celtic are keeping close tabs on Bodo/Glimt winger Ola Solbakken over a potential summer transfer. The rumour has emerged amid the growing uncertainty of Filipe Jota’s Parkhead future.

Although the Hoops have the option of converting his season-long loan deal into a permanent one, the young Portuguese is undecided on whether to extend his stay beyond the ongoing term.

“Not a chance am I thinking about next season. I am just enjoying day by day. I don’t want to talk about that. I just want to enjoy and give everything for this shirt.”

Jota told Sky Sports (as cited by the Daily Record) after his side’s crucial win against Ross County. Solbakken, therefore, has been identified as an alternative if they fail to secure the services of the Benfica youngster.

Celtic target Ola Solbakken in action
ROME, ITALY – NOVEMBER 04: Ola Solbakken of FK Bodo/Glimt
celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal during the UEFA Europa Conference League group C match between AS Roma and FK Bodo/Glimt at Stadio Olimpico on November 04, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

After progressing through the youth ranks of Rosenborg, the Norway international was roped in by Ranheim four years back. There he showed early promises in the top-flight of Norwegian football and Glimt, who were monitoring his progress minutely, snapped him up back in the winter of 2020. The young attacker was instrumental in their successive Eliteserien silverware, whereas a goal and assist each against Celtic in the UEFA Europa Conference League must have grabbed the attention of the Glasgow giants.

The Celts turned down the opportunity to tie him down last summer but are ready to reignite interest in a couple of months. So far, he has fired in 17 goals and laid on 18 more in 71 Bodo/Glimt appearances across competitions [stats via Transfermarket].

Why Celtic Must Step Up The Chase

Predominantly left-footed, Solbakken prefers to operate as an inverted winger from the right. However, he is also capable of causing menace from the left-hand flank, and his flexibility high up the pitch should add more firepower in the attacking third. Ange Postecoglou has not opted for high-profile names but is recruiting those who would fit in his free-flowing football.

Jota, as well as Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda, have been exquisite as wide attackers and these new Celtic arrivals have sent the likes of James Forrest and Mikey Johnston down the pecking order. Solbakken must impress the gaffer first to stake a claim in his first-team plans, but it’s time for him to take the next career step out of his comfort zone. Meanwhile, his Glimt contract is set to expire in December and a minuscule fee should be enough to wrap up a deal for the 23-year-old sensation.

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