Why Celtic should keep Filip Benkovic beyond next summer
After a wobbly start to the season, Celtic have managed to claw their way back into it. The early campaign stutter meant that they were out of the Champions League, however, since then, the Hoops have raised their game to the level expected of them on a regular basis.
Brendan Rodgers’ men are now in a good position to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Europa League too, apart from their league position.
The key to their resurgence has been the solidity of the defence. Dedryck Boyata was an unsettled man in the early months, but he seems to have settled down and helped the back-line.
The Belgian has found an able partner in Filip Benkovic, the loanee from Leicester City who is also doing a good job for the Scottish champions. Below we analyse his performances justify why Celtic should keep him beyond next summer:
Performance Analysis – Filip Benkovic
The Croat is now starting to build a strong centre-back partnership with Boyata in central defence. Looking at some of his stats from this season, the 21-year-old has featured in three Europa League games and seven Scottish Premiership games. In terms of his numbers in the former, Benkovic has won aerial duels at a rate of 3.7 per match.
He is a fantastic reader of the game, making interceptions and tackles at an average of 3.7 and 1 per game respectively. The centre-back makes 4.7 clearances per game, epitomising his all-around ability as a defender.
Moreover, he has completed passes at a success rate of 92.9%, indicating to his propensity of being a calm figure on the ball.
As per Leicestershire Live, Rodgers has claimed that Benkovic is top-class and is ready to play Premier League football. But the ex-Liverpool manager should try and keep the player beyond the end of the season.
The reason is that Celtic are short of quality centre-back options. Boyata might leave in the summer, while Jack Hendry, Kristoffer Ajer remain the other options for the Hoops.
Hence, it is imperative from the club’s viewpoint that they keep hold of the Leicester defender and sign him on a permanent basis.
There is no point in searching for new centre-backs in the market and it is better to keep the one who know the system and has performed well in the games.
Stats Courtesy – Whoscored.com