Forget Moussa Dembele: Here Are 3 Realistic Alternatives Celtic Could Look To Sign
Celtic are reportedly ready to sell star striker Moussa Dembele to Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion, as per Sky Sports. The report claims that the two clubs have held negotiations over a January transfer for the Frenchman and a source even goes on to claim that a fee of £18million has been agreed upon. However, both the clubs have not accepted the claims.
Dembele has been a revelation since he moved to the Parkhead a year and a half ago from English Championship outfit Fulham on a free transfer. Last season, the striker finished with an extremely impressive return of 32 goals in 49 games across all competitions, which put him on the radar of a number of top clubs.
Having missed the start of the season with a thigh problem, he has scored 8 times in 20 games this term, as Celtic continue to dominate the domestic scenes and have qualified for the UEFA Europa League. Speaking about the rumours, Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers was pragmatic in his response, saying:
“It’s normal when you’ve got good players and talented players. With all due respect, Celtic is a club that, at times, will lose some of its players.
“But at this moment in time the squad is very much intact and we want to add to it over the course of the January [transfer] window.”
If it so happens that the Scottish champions do end up losing the former Fulham man, here are three alternatives that the club could look to sign.
Cyle Larin (Orlando City)
An unknown quantity for people who aren’t well-acquainted with the American Major League Soccer, Cyle Larin has established himself as one of the hottest young prospects in the MLS.
The 22-year old enjoyed a brilliant 2017 season for Orlando City, finishing with 12 goals and 3 assists in 28 games and has become the leading goal-scorer for the club, with 44 strikes in 89 games, possessing a goal-scoring rate of almost a goal every other game.
Larin is a tall, strong and imposing presence at the top of the attack, who can brush aside the opponents with his strength and power. He can hold up the play really well and bring his teammates into the game, and is quite a force in the air as well, making for a great target during set-piece situations. A clinical finisher, with both his feet and his head, Larin exudes great composure in front of goal, despite his young age and could prove to be a smart buy for Celtic.
Dominic Solanke (Liverpool)
Rodgers’ side were heavily interested in making a move for the talented 20-year old in the summer, as per reports from the Daily Record, but were beaten to his signature by Rodgers’ former employers, Liverpool.
However, with Solanke hardly getting any game time at Anfield, there could be a possibility of getting him on a loan deal, similar to what Celtic did with Patrick Roberts from Manchester City. The former Chelsea starlet has started just three games in all competitions for the Reds’ senior side and has just a one assist to his name.
He might have failed to make a serious impact owing to a lack of game time but Solanke’s goalscoring prowess throughout his youth career is a well-known fact. He showed in the Merseysiders’ pre-season campaign that he can be a serious goal threat if backed constantly. One for Rodgers to seriously consider.
Hee-Chan Hwang (RB Salzburg)
Another relatively unknown youngster, filled with immense potential, Austrian side RB Salzburg’s Hee-Chan Hwang could turn out to be the next Moussa Dembele for Celtic.
The 21-year old South Korean starlet burst on to the scenes last season when he finished with a tally of 16 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions for the Austrian outfit. He has continued his form this year as well, having found the net on 9 occasions already in 20 games in all competitions.
An excellent dribbler of the ball, Hwang dazzles when he has the ball at his feet and his movement without it is equally sharp as well. He also possesses that keen eye for a ball, which makes him a highly exciting player to watch. Celtic have reaped the rewards for investing in young players with potential, and signing Hwang to replace Dembele could prove to be a great piece of business for the club.