Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou secured a place in his first final at the club with a 1-0 win over St. Johnstone in the semi-final of the League Cup on Saturday.
The Hoops coach has enjoyed a solid start to life in Scotland, with the club currently second in the Premiership table, and now has a chance to win a trophy early on in his career in Glasgow.
Whilst results on the pitch have been going his way, he has also found success in the transfer market with the likes of Jota and Kyogo Furuhashi. So, who could he land next to continue his impressive work in the window?
One player Celtic have recently been linked with is Brazilian holding midfielder Fernando Henrique. Portal do Gremista reported earlier this week that the Hoops are tracking the 20-year-old and that he could leave Gremio at the end of the season, opening the door for him to move to Scotland next summer.
Postecoglou has been lining up with a 4-1-4-1 formation in recent matches and deploying Nir Bitton at the base of the midfield in the role between the lines. The Israel international recently turned 30 and it could be time for Postecoglou to look at a long-term successor to his position in the holding midfield position.
In Fernando Henrique, Celtic could find their next Bitton. Whilst he may not have the height of the current Hoops beast, standing at 5 foot 10, he does appear to have the passing and defensive qualities to play the six role effectively, much like the 30-year-old.
Last season, Bitton averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.05 in the Premiership as he completed 84% of his attempted passes. Defensively, he made 2.8 tackles and interceptions per game and won 62% of his duels overall.
Henrique, meanwhile, has burst onto the scene for Gremio in the Brazilian Serie A this season and shown off his qualities as a holding midfielder. He has completed 83% of his passes and made an outstanding 5.1 tackles and interceptions per game, whilst winning 52% of his duels.
It is difficult to gauge the difference in quality between the Brazilian top-flight and the Scottish Premiership, but these statistics do suggest that Henrique is similar to Bitton in the sense that he is comfortable on the ball whilst also capable of winning it back off the opposition on a regular basis.
An eye-catching quote from Almanaque Esportivo also paints a vivid picture of the youngster: “Comparing others players, a central midfielder like Fred, with speed and good in interceptions, but not so good in passes, then a skilled central midfielder like Petrov, with a strong presence in opposition area, plenty of goals,” they said.
At the age of 20, the powerhouse could be the long-term replacement for the Celtic man at Parkhead and that is why Postecoglou should secure a deal for him in January or next summer. He could benefit from a season of learning from Bitton as his understudy before being passed the baton, with the experienced Hoop out of contract in 2023.