While central midfield is not exactly an area of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic squad which is in desperate need of reinforcement, with the 56-year-old currently possessing nine senior options in the middle of the park, it would not be surprising to see some of these move onto pastures new this summer.
Indeed, the likes of Ismaila Soro, Nir Bitton and James McCarthy have not enjoyed a great deal of game-time under the Hoops coach so far this season, while the trio are also reportedly earning a combined £36.1k-p/w in wages.
Furthermore, while Callum McGregor and Yosuke Ideguchi are the two standout options in the more defensive role of Postecoglou’s three-man midfield following the departure of Scott Brown last summer, the Bhoys are somewhat lacking in a tough-tackling, play-disrupting option in that area of the pitch.
However, with the club having recently been linked with a move for Coventry City’s Gustavo Hamer in the summer transfer window, that could soon be about to change.
Making a £1.5m move to Coventry in 2020, Hamer arrived in England with a reputation of being something of a terrier in the middle of the park, with Dutch football expert and FootballOranje founder Michael Bell stating of the 24-year-old prior to his switch:
“He is a controlling midfielder. Has been through the Feyenoord academy, at Dordrecht and at PEC Zwolle too.
“He definitely loves a tackle and that’s why he has eight yellow cards this season in the Eredivisie, more than most in the league.
“However, he is so much more than a terrier and has a lot of technique and skill on the ball. He can spread passes around the pitch with ease and is an excellent set-piece taker. He is a strong player and fans will like his creativity and ability on the ball. He is still young too so has plenty of time to improve and grow as a player.”
These are all traits that the £2.25m-rated midfielder has demonstrated in abundance for the Sky Blues, with Hamer averaging 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 tackles and winning 2.9 duels per game over his 42 Championship appearances last season.
However, it was not only in a defensive capacity in which the former Netherlands under-20 international impressed. He also bagged five goals, registered three assists and created five big chances for his teammates, enjoying 57.7 touches of the ball, taking 1.8 shots and making 1.5 key passes per match.
These returns saw the player who Marko Marosi dubbed “unbelievable” earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.97, ranking him as Coventry’s best performer in the second tier of English football last term.
It has been a similar story over Hamer’s 29 Championship outings so far this season, with the £3.2k-per-week midfielder scoring three goals, providing six assists and creating nine big chances for his teammates. He has also averaged 1.5 key passes, 1.2 interceptions, 1.6 tackles and 1.6 shots and won three duels per game.
As such, while the 24-year-old would undoubtedly replace Brown’s hardman presence in the Celtic midfield, it is clear to see that Hamer would also add an extra bow to the Bhoys’ creativity from the middle of the park. That leads us to believe that the Coventry City ace would make an exceptional addition to Postecoglou’s current options in the midfield engine room.