Why Celtic must beat Rangers to the signature of Jack Whatmough
Jack Whatmough earned promotion with Portsmouth after establishing himself at the South Coast club. He recently put in a brilliant display in the shock 1-0 victory over Norwich City in the FA Cup third round that earned him a lot of plaudits.
The 22-year-old centre-back has featured in 24 games in all competitions this season, chipping in with two goals. Worryingly for the League One leaders, though, Jack Whatmough is out of contract at the end of the season and that makes him even more attractive for top teams due to his availability on a cut-price deal this month.
That said, Celtic must beat Rangers to sign Jack Whatmough in the January transfer window. Celtic have been very busy in the winter transfer window, with manager Brendan Rodgers finally managing to bolster his attack with the additions of Oliver Burke, Timothy Weah and Vakoun Issouf Bayo.
Now that Rodgers has strengthened his attacking options and given that the midfield already well-stocked, he can focus on shoring up the defence.
The Hoops’ defence looked shaky at the start of the season but ever since Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic formed a partnership together, they have looked a tough nut to crack. However, both Boyata and Benkovic are likely expected to not be a part of Rodgers’ squad next season.
Benkovic’s loan expires in the summer and he’ll return to his parent club Leicester City, while Boyata could leave Parkhead on a free transfer as he is in the last year of his contract. Though Rodgers has Jozo Simunovic, Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer as other options in central defence, losing both Boyata and Benkovic would be a big blow on a broader picture.
Hence to avoid a potential burnout of options in the summer, Celtic must make sure they get the Jack Whatmough deal across the line this month. The 22-year-old has shown a lot of promise in Portsmouth colours this season, helping the club to the top of the League One table.
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As rules and regulations suggest that clubs north of the border are allowed to sign players under the age of 23 without forking out an expensive tribunal fee, the signing of Whatmough is a no-brainer for Rodgers’ Celtic.