Celtic Could Benefit By Signing Reading Defender Liam Moore And Here’s Why
According to reports from the Daily Record, Scottish champions Celtic have made Reading defender Liam Moore their top transfer target ahead of the January transfer window. The 24-year old English defender has been very good for the Royals this term and the Hoops’ manager Brendan Rodgers has been left impressed by the player and hence wants to bring him into his squad in the winter transfer window.
Reading boss Jaap Stam has issued a hands-off warning to any suitors but that isn’t likely to stop Celtic from pursuing their target in the winter. But, will he be a good signing for the club?
Firstly, there is no doubt that Celtic need to bring in a new centre-back in January. The Hoops have continued from where they left off in the domestic competitions last season and sit pretty at the top of the Scottish Premiership table. They have extended their unbeaten run to a record 63 games. However, throughout the season so far, they have been blighted by injury problems at the back. Dedryck Boyata missed a good chunk of games at the start of the season, Jozo Simunovic has been struggling with intermittent injury issues and the same has been the case with Erik Sviatchenko.
With the three senior centre-halves spending a lot of time out on the sidelines, Rodgers has been forced to deploy midfielder Nir Bitton as a makeshift central defender, while full-back Mikael Lustig, and on occasions Kieran Tierney too, have been used in the heart of the defence.
While they have done a decent job, strengthening that area of the pitch is pertinent for the Hoops at this point of the season, especially so, if they get through to the UEFA Europa League, the chances of which are extremely high at this moment.
Moore could very well prove to be the answer for Rodgers’ defensive headache. Having come through the academy at Leicester City, the 24-year old had loan spells with Bradford City, Brentford and Bristol City before making a permanent move to Reading in the summer of 2016. Since his move to the Madejski Stadium, the former English youth international has flourished under the guidance of former Manchester United defender and present Reading boss Jaap Stam.
Last term, Moore featured 47 times in all competitions for the Royals, finishing with a goal and an assist. In the ongoing campaign, he has taken the pitch 17 times, scoring two goals and assisting two more. Primarily a centre-back, Moore can also play as a right-sided full-back, which would provide added options to Rodgers in defence.
It is no secret that Rodgers is trying to bring a style of play at the Parkhead, where he wants his centre-halves to be involved in building up play from the back. The 24-year old Moore can be an asset in that regard, given that he is a very good passer of the ball. He has a pass accuracy of 82.5% after 15 Championship games this season while averaging an impressive 56.3 passes per game.
Strong in the air, possessing good defensive nous, fitting into the profile of the defender that the manager wants, and also solving a key issue in the squad, the former Leicester City man could prove to be a very smart addition for the reigning Scottish champions if they manage to get him to move in January.