Celtic continue to have their hat thrown into the ring as talks of new recruits swirl around the January transfer market. One of their latest links sees them in the running for Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson as Neil Lennon hopes to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
The Hoops have severely lacked creativity this half of the season and as a result, have been knocked off their perch atop of the Premiership table. Runaway leaders Rangers now dominate the stats and have forced a mammoth 20-point gap between them and the reigning champions.
Additionally, with the likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi only on loan from Southampton and Odsonne Edouard linked to a move away, now is the time for Nick Hammond to prioritise new creative signings.
Although Pearson isn’t always directly involved in the goals Preston score, he has shown promising statistics in the engine room. According to Sofascore, the 26-year-old’s main strength is his positioning, which will help keep Celtic tight and compact in the heart of the squad.
Pearson also averaged an 88% passing accuracy in his last three appearances, more than Scott Brown’s more disappointing 72%. Indeed, the PNE man has actually been tipped as a candidate to succeed the Hoops captain, who is nearing the end of his current Celtic tenure.
Speaking to Football Insider, Noel Whelan admitted that he could be the right person to replace the ageing skipper.
“Watch this space because he [Pearson] has been linked with Celtic,” the pundit said. “If there is an imminent move on the cards it is going to happen this week or next, that is for sure.”
Pearson is currently valued at £1.4million, which wouldn’t require Peter Lawwell to break the bank in order to sign him. Neil Lennon could work his magic on the midfielder and turn him into real Celtic talisman. He has already shown he can develop players like David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro, so Pearson could be an exciting new asset for this struggling Glaswegian side.
In other news, Celtic must avoid making any further moves to sign Tom Ince…