Why Ismaila Soro could be a good long-term prospect for Celtic
As per the report, the Hoops had scouts in attendance during Bnei Yehuda’s 2-1 victory over Hapoel Beer Sheva at the weekend and Soro is one of the many midfielders looked at by manager Neil Lennon ahead of the mid-season trading period.
It is still unclear whether the reigning Scottish champions are plotting a move for the 21-year-old defensive midfielder but it is understood that they will continue to monitor him at close quarters in the coming months. (h/t Scottish Sun)
Born in Yakasse-Me, Ivory Coast, Soro started his footballing education with Moossou in his homeland before earning a move to Europe with Moldovian outfit Saxan and subsequently featured for Gomel in Belarus prior to joining Bnei Yehuda in Israel back in 2018.
The Ivorian starlet has featured in all but one of Yehuda’s first eleven league fixtures so far this season, while also playing a part in the club’s Europa League qualification campaign that ultimately ended in failure.
Soro has clocked up a total of 55 appearances in all competitions for his current club, although he is still awaiting his first goal. Meanwhile, Celtic have been sailing through smoothly on all fronts following a wonderful start to the ongoing campaign.
Having already booked their seat in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League and in the Scottish League Cup, the Hoops currently find themselves locked with Rangers on top of the Scottish Premiership standings, and the ‘Treble treble’ winners look set for yet another trophy-laden season.
Indeed, Lennon has every reason to be pleased with how things have panned out for his team so far on all fronts, with several of the summer recruits, especially Christopher Jullien and Southampton loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi playing a key role in the Hoops’ successful start to the season.
To put things into perspective, Celtic are not crying out for a new defensive midfielder at the moment but Ismaila Soro looks like a player with good potential and in the right age bracket to come through the door at Parkhead as a bright long-term prospect.
The reigning Scottish champions are no strangers to the Israeli market, with Hatem Abd Elhamed completing a move to Glasgow from Hapoel Beer Sheva back in the summer window.
The likes of Nir Bitton and Efe Ambrose also joined Celtic from Ashdod during Lennon’s first managerial stint at Parkhead and it would be fair to say that the Israeli top-flight has been proven to be a reliable source of some effective signings for the Old Firm giants over the years.
To that end, Celtic’s links with Soro certainly makes a lot of sense, and notwithstanding the fact that the Ivorian has only plied his trade in the lower leagues of Europe so far, the Hoops could manage to unearth yet another gem from Israel if the midfielder goes on to fulfil his potential.
Soro, 21, still has his best years ahead of him and with Scott Brown already in the autumn of his career at 34, he could well prove to be a good long-term replacement for the club-captain.
Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham have both played in Lennon’s double pivot in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system this season but Brown continues to be one of the few out-and-out defensive midfielders at the club and bringing in Soro could add some valuable depth to the ranks.
However, Celtic need to make a decision on the future of Soro’s compatriot, Eboue Kouassi, who has struggled to make an impact over the course of his stay at Parkhead, with injuries ruining his progress following his move to Scotland from Russian outfit Krasnodar.
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All in all, Celtic’s interest in the 21-year-old is yet another reminder of the fact that the Hoops are not ready to bask in the glory of their raging success in recent times and are very much keen to push on for greater heights under the stewardship of Lennon.