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Forget Starfelt: Celtic must pursue Ben Davies instead

Ange Postecoglou has enjoyed a solid start to his life at Lennoxtown with Celtic.

The Hoops are unbeaten in pre-season and they’ve already welcomed two new faces through the door.

On the chalkboard

Despite that, there is still a sense of toxicity from the Celtic supporters.

You can certainly understand their animosity too. The Bhoys still lack genuine senior options in a host of positions just eight days out from their opening Champions League qualifying fixture.

They also have to deal with a rather unhappy Kristoffer Ajer. The Norwegian hopes to leave Glasgow behind this summer but the club have rejected offers from Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen.

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They appear to be holding out for £20m and until they know where his future lies, Celtic have put their pursuit of Carl Starfelt on hold.

The Hoops lodged a bid for the Sweden international’s services but that has now been withdrawn.

Forget Starfelt

The centre-back would have been a fantastic addition to Celtic’s ranks.

For instance, no player had a better pass completion rate in the Russian top-flight last term than Starfelt who was successful with 91.4%.

A proven international, the Swede is also particularly capable in defensive duels, winning 84% of his tackles; 13% more than Ajer.

However, with a swoop now on hold, they should focus their attentions on Ben Davies instead.

Neil Lennon came close to landing the £60k-per-week centre-back in January until Liverpool moved in at the last moment and brought him to Anfield instead.

Though, seven months later Davies hasn’t played a single game for the Reds.

Celtic are interested in the former Preston stalwart again and if they can land him at the second attempt, he may be a better signing than Starfelt.

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Crucially, Davies already has experience of playing at a similar level in the Championship successfully.

The 25-year-old won an impressive 3.1 aerial duels per match in the second tier of English football last season while making 1.4 interceptions per game.

A composed reader of the ball, the mental side of Davies’ attributes particularly stand out.

Speaking about his game in an interview with The Athletic, his manager at Southport, Paul Carden, said: “He was a different class and I did think he’d get in Preston’s first team. If you’d have asked me whether he’d sign for Liverpool, I probably wouldn’t have said so.”

Carden added: “He can play as a left-sided centre half, on the left of a three, as a left-back or a left wing-back. He’s not the biggest but he’s comfortable with both feet and reads the game really well. He steps out with the ball.”

Therefore, there is a lot to like about Davies. He’s more versatile than Starfelt and like the Rubin Kazan defender, he can step forward out of the defensive line and transition the play.

Postecoglou must take this opportunity to reassess his transfer plans and focus on the Liverpool man instead.

AND in other news, Celtic submit bid for “fantastic” 5ft11 gem with “endless energy”, fans surely buzzing…

Article title: Forget Starfelt: Celtic must pursue Ben Davies instead

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