Why Fousseni Diabate would be a really smart signing for Celtic
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are mulling over a move for out-of-favour Leicester City star Fousseni Diabate, with the report suggesting that Hoops boss Neil Lennon is looking to bolster his wide options before the closure of the continental transfer window.
The Scottish Sun understands that the 23-year-old French-born Malian international is not a part Brendan Rodgers’ plans this season and Leicester City are seemingly on the lookout for potential suitors to ship him out on a season-long loan deal.
Diabate, who made his move to the King Power Stadium from French Ligue 2 side Ajaccio back in January 2018, scored twice in 16 appearances in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign, including a brace in an FA Cup victory over Peterborough United.
However, he cut a rather peripheral figure in the Foxes’ first-team under former boss Claude Puel and Diabate was loaned out to Turkish top-tier outfit Sivasspor in January 2019 after featuring on only 3 occasions in the first half of the 2018-19 season.
And things have hardly taken a turnaround in the positive direction for the talented wide player since the arrival of Rodgers at the helm of affairs, with the new manager also choosing not to show too much confidence in his abilities.
With that in mind, a loan move before the deadline seemingly makes perfect sense for all parties involved and Diabate will be hoping that he gets a chance to resurrect his career elsewhere, given the stiff competition for places in Leicester’s ranks.
Meanwhile, Celtic grabbed the headlines yesterday with a loan deal for Stoke City right-back Moritz Bauer and the Austrian’s arrival at Parkhead is likely to have solved a major issue in a key area of the pitch for the manager.
Diabate, though, isn’t the only player on Celtic’s radar ahead of the transfer deadline, with the same report claiming that Lennon remains intent on signing left-back Greg Taylor from Kilmarnock to add depth to his defensive options following the departure of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal earlier in the summer.
The Hoops have started the new campaign with a bang and Lennon should be happy with the exploits of his team in the opening few games of the season after registering three consecutive victories in the Scottish Premiership.
As far as their European campaign is concerned, Celtic might have narrowly missed out on a berth in the group stages of the Champions League but they are pretty much the favourites to make it through to the group stages of the Europa League after a 2-0 victory over Swedish side AIK at home in the first leg of the playoffs.
Ideally, Lennon could be looking for a few more additions to his backline but Celtic’s interest in Diabate isn’t a big surprise, given the lack of too many established back-ups on the right-hand side of the pitch.
The Hoops have veteran Scott Sinclair, as well as the young duo of Lewis Morgan and Mikey Johnstone, as viable options down the left but when it comes to the right side, James Forrest and Ryan Christie are the only realistic options available at Lennon’s disposal.
With Jonny Hayes lost in the cold and Marian Shved yet to make his mark, the arrival of Diabate could hand Celtic a big boost before the deadline.
Primarily a left-footed player, the Malian is at his best when deployed in a wide attacking role on the right, although he is also capable of playing on the left and through the centre behind the striker.
Hence, it is pretty easy to see that the jet-heeled winger would provide Lennon with much-needed cover in multiple areas across the attacking third, something which could come in handy later on in the season when injuries start to play a part.
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The 23-year-old’s poor record in English football shouldn’t deter Celtic’s interest because it’s only a loan deal. That said, they should go all out in their pursuit of the Malian before the deadline.