Probable Celtic Line-Up Featuring Kundai Benyu And Jonny Hayes
Scottish champions Celtic have completed the signing of midfielder Kundai Benyu from Ipswich Town. The 19-year old has signed a four-year deal with the Hoops and will come in for free, after his contract with Ipswich expired (Express).
Benyu becomes the club’s second signing, after they had captured Jonny Hayes from last season’s closest rivals Aberdeen.The 19-year old Benyu never made his first team debut for Ipswich and spent last season on loan with National League side Aldershot, where he impressed heavily. He finished the campaign with 5 goals and 3 assists from 23 appearances across all competitions.
The likes of Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Aston Villa too were taking an interest in the talented youngster (Express), but Celtic have managed to steal him away, much like they did with Moussa Dembele last season. While Benyu may not go on to have a similar impact as the Frenchman did, he has shown immense potential and could turn out to be a great signing for the future.
While it does remain highly unlikely that he may be able to break into the first-team immediately, here’s how a Celtic line-up featuring Benyu may look like.
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Craig Gordon (GK)
The veteran shot-stopper will continue to man the goal for the domestic treble winners, after impressing with some very solid performances last season.
Mikael Lustig (RB)
The Swedish international will be the natural preferred choice at right-back ahead of Cristian Gamboa, having had a strong finish to the 2016/17 season.
Jozo Simunovic (CB)
Became the defensive mainstay at the back in the second half of the season, pushing out Erik Sviatchenko from the starting XI. Will remain at the heart of the defence.
Dedryck Boyata (CB)
The former Manchester City man has struck up a great partnership with Simunovic and chipped in with some important goals last season. Will keep his place.
Kieran Tierney (LB)
There were so many speculations about Kieran Tierney towards the end of the season. Almost every Premier League team wanted him, but to Celtic fans’ happiness, it seems like he is going nowhere. If he stays, he’d start for sure.
Scott Brown (CM)
The captain provides the steel in the middle of the park for Brendan Rodgers. He is a vital part for the team to function properly and will not be dropped.
Stuart Armstrong (CM)
What a season the midfielder had last time around! Armstrong wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with a brilliant tally of 17 goals and 7 assists from the midfield. Irremovable.
Kundai Benyu (CM)
The 19-year old will have a hard task breaking into the team with the likes of Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic ahead of him in the pecking order. However, if he plays, he could really turn out to be an exciting player to watch, with his ability on the ball and the eye for a goal.
Jonny Hayes (RW)
With last season’s star man Patrick Roberts returning to parent club Manchester City after his loan spell, the right flank is set to be taken up by another new face in the squad – Jonny Hayes. The 29-year old enjoyed an excellent season for Aberdeen, scoring 11 and setting up a whopping 24 goals and should keep James Forrest out of the team.
Moussa Dembele (ST)
Another player who was heavily linked with all the big clubs across Europe, Dembele has shown no signs of leaving and if Rodgers manages to hold on to the Frenchman, he will be leading the line for Celtic, without a question.
Scott Sinclair (LW)
And the spot on the left flank will be rightfully kept by Scott Sinclair. The Englishman finished the top scorer in the Premiership last season and another similar campaign is what the manager and fans would hope from him.