An update has emerged on Celtic’s pursuit of Royal Antwerp’s Aurelio Buta.
The Athletic’s Celtic correspondent Kieran Devlin has claimed that the Hoops are closing in on the signing of the 24-year-old.
Devlin shared an article on how Buta could fit in at Celtic Park, with the tweet starting: “So it looks like Celtic are (finally) closing in on a right-back.”
Celtic fans will be delighted with this news as he could be the perfect replacement for Jeremie Frimpong, albeit almost eight months on from the latter’s departure from the club. The former Manchester City man left for Bayer Leverkusen in January and has not been replaced with a permanent addition as of yet, with Jonjoe Kenny spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Parkhead.
The first obvious point of comparison is their respective heights. Frimpong and Buta are both 5 foot 7 and play at right-back, suggesting that they are very similar players in stature. They are small, nimble, and able to get up and down the pitch to provide Celtic with defensive and attacking value.
In Devlin’s article for The Athletic, he also compared the pair, stating: “We can use Jeremie Frimpong as a point of comparison, although opting for his breakthrough 2019-20 season rather than 2020-21 for comparison as he left midway through for Bayer Leverkusen. Frimpong is a full-back/wing-back hybrid in a similar mould if younger and more inexperienced.”
This shows that he could be an ideal replacement for Frimpong in style, whilst he could also have the quality to make an impact in the Scottish Premiership. The full-back was touted with a move to Wolves back in 2019 and journalist Aster Nzeyimana heaped praise on the “very gifted” defender, saying: “He’s one of the best full-backs in the Belgium league – that’s a widespread opinion.
“In the last two years he’s grown defensively, he has admitted that himself. He’s quite a small player but he’s technically very gifted. We have a history in Belgium of good attacking full-backs and he really fits right in. He’s instrumental to Antwerp.”
The 24-year-old has 19 assists in 108 games for Antwerp, which highlights the attacking quality he can provide from the right flank.
Celtic fans could enjoy watching him bomb down the wing on the overlap before whipping in a cross for a forward to finish, and it is now down to the club to get this deal over the line to bolster Ange Postcoglou’s squad.