Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Celtic Receive Boost In Pursuit Of This Midfield Target: What Should The Hoops 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 the Daily Record is believed to be true, Celtic have received a boost in pursuit of their long-term transfer target Mohamed “Afsha” Magdy. He was labelled as ‘not for sale’ by the Al Ahly gaffer Marcel Koller, but the stance has changed in less than a week’s time following a meeting between club president Mahmoud Al-Khatib and the staff committee.

“Following a meeting between the president and the football sector planning committee, it was agreed Afsha will not be sold for less than $5. We believe it is a very appropriate amount for the player’s capabilities and also for the price of the transfer market at the present time and his agent was informed of Al-Ahly’s conditions.”

The decision has been made with the consent and blessings of their Swiss boss, the statement has revealed further.

The Egyptian was supposed to leave in the summer for a fee of around £300,000. A deal was struck with Sivasspor, but the move got collapsed late in the transfer window. However, the 26-year-old Al Ahly ace continued to impress in the centre of the pitch and his emergence in recent years has now encouraged the Cairo giants to increase the valuation significantly.

Mohamed Magdy

Afsha had his youth stints with Kombera and ENPPI before breaking into the latter’s first-team squad. He was then roped in by Pyramids back in July 2018. After a productive 2018-19 campaign, the midfield attacker joined Al Ahly a year later.

Why The Egyptian Would Be A Good Addition In The Current Celtic Squad

The Pharaohs international has so far earned 20 senior caps. Meanwhile, he is also proving his worth in Al Ahly colours with 29 goals and 32 assists in 145 appearances across competitions. His creative spark as a ‘number 10’, as well as versatility in various midfield roles, must have drawn the attention of the Celtic scouts. The Hoops are shrewd and successful in the transfer market since Ange Postecoglou’s appointment as the Parkhead boss. But it remains to be seen whether they are determined to secure Afsha’s services in winter.

Celtic are well equipped in midfield as they added Aaron Mooy and Oliver Abildgaard to replace Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton. The likes of Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate, David Turnbull and Matt O’Riley have featured regularly under the Aussie chief, whereas James McCarthy and Yosuke Ideguchi are also there even though they have struggled for minutes due to form and fitness reasons. Having said that, all their midfield options are either ‘number 8s’ or ‘number 6s’, and the addition of Egyptian would bring more directness and attacking expertise to Postecoglou’s free-flowing football.

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