Celtic will soon be shifting their attention to who they can entice to Parkhead to bolster their chances of snatching their crown back from Rangers next season. The runaway Premiership leaders have a whopping 20-point advantage at the moment and look all but nailed on to break Celtic’s nine year successive run.
If the Bhoys are to bounce back, they’ll need to add new personnel to their struggling squad. The likes of Diego Laxalt, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Shane Duffy are all set to return to their parent clubs this summer, unless Celtic make their moves permanent.
The latter has been less than impressive since his loan transfer from Brighton and there have been talks of the club terminating the relationship early.
With links between the Glaswegians and Preston North End’s Ben Davies, the centre-back looks to be in trouble. If this move goes through, Neil Lennon will have no need for Duffy moving forwards.
According to The Star, the Hoops are keen admirers of the centre-back, who would reportedly command a £10million transfer fee. Whilst this may be viewed as a steep price for Celtic, their defence is an area that is in serious need of some attention.
Kristoffer Ajer continues to be linked with a move away from Glasgow and Duffy’s eventual departure will leave Lennon with just Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed as their natural centre-halves.
Signing Davies would be an immediate upgrade on Duffy, who has put in some calamitous performances this season – again last night, he was rated as the second-worst player on the pitch for the Bhoys by SofaScore in the 2-2 draw with Livingston. According to WhoScored, the Preston ace’s defensive stats have already been stronger than the Irishman’s this season.
Davies currently averages more clearances, interceptions and tackles per match and commits less fouls than Duffy. Although the latter has more defensive contributions, Celtic need their central defenders to be exactly that. They have shipped 18 league goals so far this season, just one fewer than the previous campaign with 11 games still to play.
The Hoops also conceded a whopping 19 goals in their short Europa League run, the joint-most in the group stages alongside Ludogorets and Dundalk.
Nick Hammond must prioritise a new defensive signing and Davies could be a fine fit for the struggling Scottish giants.
In other news, Signing Benjamin Siegrist would be the end of Scott Bain…