Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Celtic Locked In A Two-Horse Race For This Highly-Rated Brazilian: Why They Must Get The Deal Done

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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 the Turkish outlet Takvim (as quoted by the Glasgow Times) is believed to be true, Celtic are in a two-horse race with Fenerbahce for Vinicius Souza. The Brazilian midfielder has been linked with a Parkhead switch over the past few days and the Celts have rumouredly opened talks with his current employers Lommel.

The 22-year-old former Selecao U20 international progressed through the youth ranks of Flamengo. He made 8 senior appearances for the Scarlet-Black before being roped in by the Belgian outfit. An impressive spell in the Belgium First Division B saw him securing a season-long loan to Division A outfit K.V. Mechelen. With 35 appearances across competitions, Souza grabbed the attention of many during the 2021-22 campaign.

The young Brazilian has primarily been deployed as a ‘number 6’ given his ability to dictate the tempo with composure and vision from a deep-lying midfield role. He has also operated as a centre-half on a few occasions and the flexibility he offers should help him fit in Ange Postecoglou’s free-flowing set-up.

Celtic target Vinicius Souza in action
Mechelen’s Vinicius Souza and Gent’s Alessio Castro Montes fight for the ball during a soccer match between KV Mechelen and KAA Gent, Tuesday 10 May 2022 in Mechelen, on day 4 (out of 6) of the ‘Europe’ play-offs of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ first division of the Belgian championship. BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS (Photo by DAVID PINTENS / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by DAVID PINTENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via 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/).

The Hoops, meanwhile, are eyeing an initial loan with the option to buy, whereas the Turkish giants are determined to secure his services on permanent terms. They are keen on squad reinforcements in order to conquer the league crown for the first time since 2014 and Celtic, therefore, must prepare themselves for a bidding war in the ongoing transfer window.

Why Celtic Must Rope In The Youngster

Despite being well equipped in the centre of the pitch, the Bhoys need someone to develop as the understudy to skipper Callum McGregor. He did a colossal job by emulating Scott Brown’s legacy deep down the midfield; however, the gaffer must manage his minutes carefully to avoid injury setbacks amid fixture congestion. Ismaila Soro has failed to live up to the expectations as a sporadic option; also, the veteran James McCarthy could not impress Postecoglou enough regardless of his experience and Premier League expertise.

Steven Defour, the former Belgium international who is also the assistant manager of Mechelen, has praised the young prodigy for his ability to break down opponents’ moves as well as instigate attacks from the deep.

“Where his ceiling is, is difficult to estimate. But he has the qualities to make it at the top of Europe. Vini is head and shoulders above the rest this season.”

Defour told HLN backing him for the next career move.

Celtic must be desperate to defend the Premiership crown and it remains to be seen whether they crack a deal in due course of time.

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