Why Bahlul Mustafazada would be a smart signing for Celtic
Back in April, the Scottish Sun had claimed that Celtic were interested in signing defender Bahlul Mustafazada, who was then plying his trade for Gabala. Ultimately, he chose to Gabala’s Azerbaijani rivals Sabah FK on a free transfer.
A product of the Gabala youth academy, Bahlul Mustafazada was loaned to local club Sumgayit last year. He made 20 appearances for Sumgayit, scoring two goals.
Now with Sabah FK, the defender has made 10 appearances in the league. He also made his debut for Azerbaijan in September 2019 in their UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match against Wales.
With the Azerbaijan international impressing at Sabah FK, should Celtic revive their interest in the defender when the January transfer window opens?
Celtic have started the new Scottish Premiership season well but arch-rivals Rangers are providing tough competition for the top spot.
With Rangers massively strengthening their squad over the summer, the Bhoys manager Neil Lennon must go all out to retain the Premiership title this time around.
With that in mind, Lennon must look for reinforcements in January to give his time a much-needed push for the second half of the campaign.
A new striker has to be at the top of the Northern Irishman’s wishlist, given how both Vakoun Issof Bayo and Leigh Griffiths have struggled for fitness this season.
Odsonne Edouard has spearheaded Celtic’s attack expertly thus far but he will need a rest at some point.
As far as the options in defence are concerned, Celtic added Hatem Abd Elhamed and Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo in the summer. And with Kristoffer Ajer, Christopher Jullien, Jozo Simunovic, Nir Bitton and Jack Hendry as competition, the need for another centre-back isn’t as pressing.
However, Simunovic has endured injury problems over the last couple of seasons while Hendry has been completely out of the picture this season.
Abd Elhamed is set to miss six weeks of action following a groin problem, while Bolingoli-Mbombo is yet to fully convince at left-back. To ease some pressure off Ajer and Jullien’s shoulders, Celtic must make a move for Bahlul Mustafazada in January.
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Mustafazada is a promising young defender with high potential since he can also play at the back as a defensive midfielder. That would open up options for Lennon, who could use the Azerbaijani in a holding role to rest skipper Scott Brown whenever required.
This suggests that Mustafazada would be a smart signing for Celtic and Lennon wouldn’t be wrong to splash money on the six-cap Azerbaijan international in January.