With Celtic’s season essentially done and dusted, they can begin preparing for the next campaign.
It will be a crucial campaign too with the Hoops no doubt aiming to usurp Rangers again. That being said, who will be part of the squad attempting to do just that?
What’s the word?
Jonjoe Kenny is Celtic’s current option at right-back but it looks as though they have other plans to fill that spot in 2021/22.
The Englishman signed on loan in January to replace Jeremie Frimpong but Celtic are now reportedly eyeing a move for a different full-back on a permanent basis.
That happens to be ADO Den Haag defender Milan van Ewijk. Dutch outlet VI reported the news suggesting that the Hoops were one of a number of sides vying for his signature.
German outfits Schalke, Hamburg, and SV Darmstadt are all in the race to land the 20-year-old, as are Gent.
Do you miss Frimpong?
Losing Frimpong to Bayer Leverkusen in the January transfer window wasn’t an ideal situation for the Bhoys. The Dutchman was a vibrant young prodigy, one described by Neil Lennon as being the best youngster he’s ever coached.
Though, they could replace him in some style with a move for Van Ewijk. Like Frimpong, he loves to get forward but importantly, he’s significantly more adept defensively than the former Celtic man.
Speaking about his own game, Van Ewijk once said: “I am a fierce right back who can attack well, but also defend and I have a good condition. I can certainly also be found in the front. Last season I also gave a number of assists. I’ll show the rest during the matches.”
Indeed, we’ve seen as much this term. The young defender has played 24 times for Den Haag, contributing to three goals in the process. His defensive statistics are phenomenal; producing 3.3 successful tackles a match on average. That’s the fifth-highest success rate of anyone in the Dutch top-flight.
His 80 tackles this season are also more than any other player in the Eredivisie. In one instance this term, Van Ewijk made as many as nine clean challenges in a solitary game. It’s a remarkable number, one that reminds us of Ismaila Soro.
The Ivorian is Celtic’s chief operator in that area of the field. Soro has won two tackles per outing in the SPFL, while he possesses a tally of 3.7 challenges a match in the Europa League.
When it comes to breaking up the play, there are few better in the Celtic squad. Thus, just imagine the brute force they could play with if they fielded Soro and Van Ewijk in the same starting XI.
Neither would shy away from a tackle and judging by some of the performances we’ve seen from the Bhoys this term, that can be no bad thing.