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Celtic had a nightmare on Amir Rrahmani

Back in the summer of 2019, when Neil Lennon’s Celtic side had lost the services of Dedryck Boyata, Marvin Compper and Filip Benkovic in the heart of their defence, the Hoops were in rather desperate need of one or two fresh faces at centre-back ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

By the time the transfer window closed in September, Celtic had secured the signings of both Christopher Jullien, for whom they paid £7m to Toulouse, and Hatem Abd Elhamed, paying Hapoel Beer Sheva £1.6m for the 28-year-old.

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Big Fat Celtic Quiz of 2021 - can you get 100%? Question 1. How many managers have Celtic had in 2021?

However, according to agent Adrian Aliaj, there was another player on Celtic’s wish list that year, in the shape of Amir Rrahmani from Dinamo Zagreb.

Indeed, shortly after the 25-year-old’s eventual €2.1m (£1.8m) switch to Hellas Verona that same summer, Aliaj informed Calcio Hellas that Lennon had registered his interest in signing the Kosovo international.

However, with Celtic not being forceful enough in their attempts to lure the player to Parkhead, Rrahmani decided that he would prefer a move to Serie A.

In the time since his low-key move to northeast Italy, the 6 foot 4 centre-back has quickly gone on to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the league – impressing so much for Hellas that, just six months after joining the club, Napoli parted with a considerable €14m (£12m) in order to bring the Kosovan to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in January 2020.

The £48k-per-week titan has continued his remarkable rise over his 27 Serie A appearances this season, helping the Azzurri to keep 11 clean sheets and scoring three goals, along with averaging 0.5 interceptions, 0.7 tackles and 2.5 clearances and winning 3.9 duels (at a success rate of 62%) per game.

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These returns have seen the player who Matteo Bonetti dubbed “imposing” and Josh Bunting labelled “commanding” record a very impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.11, ranking him as Luciano Spalletti’s fifth-best player in the Italian top flight, with the 28-year-old playing a key role in Napoli’s title charge.

As such, considering the fact that the £25m-rated Rrahmani would have cost Celtic just £200k more than Abd Elhamed back in 2019 – a player who would spend just 18 months in Glasgow before returning to Israel – it is clear to see that the Hoops had a nightmare when missing out on the Kosovan sensation.

AND in other news: Postecoglou now closing in on eight-figure deal, it’s a huge coup for Celtic

Article title: Celtic had a nightmare on Amir Rrahmani

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