Friday, September 29, 2023

Celtic Join The Race For This In-Demand Zambian Midfielder: Rodgers Must Make The Call

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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.

In a recent tweet, The Guardian’s Ed Aarons revealed Celtic’s interest in Kings Kangwa. But they are not alone in the hunt as Premier League outfit Nottingham Forest have held talks with Red Star Belgrade for the €3m-rated midfield ace. The likes of Fiorentina, Lille and Montpellier are also keeping close tabs on the 24-year-old ahead of a potential summer swoop.

Kangwa began his youth stint with Happy Hearts back in his homeland. He had a brief stint in Israel with Hapoel Be’er Sheva but returned to his boyhood club to pursue his senior career. The Copper Bullets international then joined the Zambian Super League side Buildcon before plying his trade in Russia. After three seasons with Arsenal Tula, he left last summer and joined the Serbian giants for a fee of around €1.50m.

Celtic have re-appointed Brendan Rodgers as the new Parkhead chief following Ange Postecoglou’s move to Tottenham Hotspur. Besides making Tomoki Iwata’s deal permanent, the Hoops have roped in Norwegian prodigy Odin Thiago Holm from Vålerenga. They would bolster the squad with further reinforcements and the Zambian star could be one of them.

Celtic target Kings Kangwa in action for Zambia
Zambia’s Kings Kangwa get the ball past Ivory Coast’s Ibrahim Sangare during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2023 qualification football match between the Ivory coast and Zambia at Yamoussoukro stadium in Yamoussoukro on June 3, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Having said that, the Bhoys are well-equipped in the centre of the pitch. Skipper Callum McGregor, his compatriot David Turnbull, veteran Aaron Mooy, versatile Danish youth international Matt O’Riley and the Japanese pair Iwata and Reo Hatate are challenging each other for first-team slots, also, the addition of Holm would offer more depth and quality in the forthcoming future.

Why Celtic Should Go For Kangwa

Celtic could lose a few of their midfielders over the next couple of months. O’Riley is drawing interest from Premier League, whereas Hatate is open for a ‘step up‘ if the opportunity arrives. Turnbull must be unsettled due to a lack of minutes and the reports surrounding Mooy’s injury problems are indeed worrying given his stunning run of form last season in the middle of the park. The crisis could get bigger unless it is addressed in due time.

Primarily a ‘number 8’, Kangwa is also comfortable as a ‘number 10′ or deep-lying playmaker. He scored 12 goals and laid on 6 assists last season in 45 appearances across competitions. His physicality and ball-carrying ability make him a perfect fit as a box-to-box option and the Celts’ boss must sanction the move to add a new dimension to central midfield. He was pivotal to Red Star Belgrade’s SuperLiga and the Serbian Cup triumph and a transfer to Celtic Park could see him attain more glory in the coming days.

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