Why Celtic should complete a loan deal for Jordan Rhodes in January
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are looking to sign Sheffield Wednesday striker Jordan Rhodes on loan during the mid-season trading period in January, with Neil Lennon keen to bolster his team’s push for a fourth consecutive treble and an extended run in Europe.
The 29-year-old has found himself gathering dust at Hillsborough for large chunks of the ongoing campaign under Owls’ boss Garry Monk, although he has returned from a spell in the shadows to start the club’s last three fixtures in the EFL Championship.
Rhodes recently netted a hat-trick to propel Sheffield Wednesday to a thumping 4-0 victory over promotion rivals Nottingham Forest but his position in the pecking order under Monk remains unclear heading into the January window.
The report suggests that the Owls are looking to bring in another striker on loan in January to boost their chances of promotion and that could push Rhodes further down the pecking order at Hillsborough, with Atdhe Nuhiu, Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall all competing for a place up top.
Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic have also been credited with loan interest in Rhodes but the Latics’ position at the bottom of the table means that they could find it hard to afford the 29-year-old’s wages. (h/t Scottish Sun)
Having come through the youth system at Ipswich Town, Jordan Rhodes carved out a big reputation for himself as a bonafide goalscorer in the third-tier with Huddersfield Town, plundering 86 goals in 147 appearances for the Terriers in all competitions.
The Oldham-born forward replicated those exploits at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship, racking up 84 goals in 169 appearances for the Lancashire outfit.
However, his career has been in a downward spiral ever since his move to Middlesbrough in 2016 and Rhodes has only played a bit-part role at Hillsborough over the past couple of seasons.
The 29-year-old spent the entirety of the previous campaign on loan at Norwich City and helped the Canaries in their surge for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
However, his return to Sheffield Wednesday hasn’t been a fruitful one, with Garry Monk clearly not showing enough confidence in his abilities.
Meanwhile, Celtic look set for another trophy-laden year after an incredible first half of the campaign under Neil Lennon, who has already guided the Hoops to the Betfred Cup crown and the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League.
With the Hoops well-stocked in most departments, Lennon certainly doesn’t need to make wholesale changes to his squad in January but a reliable back-up to star striker Odsonne Edouard should be atop the club’s transfer agenda.
Leigh Griffiths seems to be well past his prime while Vakoun Issouf Bayo has struggled to make a big impact at Parkhead due to recurrent injuries. Thus, bringing in a fresh striker on loan during the mid-season trading period could be a wise move for Lennon.
To put things into perspective, Jordan Rhodes might have struggled for playtime in the EFL Championship in recent years but his hat-trick against Nottingham Forest was a throwback to his glory days. Celtic are well within their rights to look at him as a feasible option on loan in January.
In Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Edouard, Celtic already have enough firepower in their attack and someone like Rhodes could be another sparkling addition to the existing list of game-changers at Parkhead.
The Hoops need to find a way to release the goalscoring workload on Edouard when they compete on multiple fronts in the second half of the campaign and a striker with a proven pedigree like Rhodes would be ideal.
More Celtic News
- Why Celtic must go all out to sign Giannis Bouzoukis in January
- Why Celtic boss Neil Lennon should keep hold of Craig Gordon this season
- Why Celtic should stay away from CRF Cluj striker Billel Omrani
All in all, Celtic completing a loan move for Jordan Rhodes in January could go a long way towards ensuring another trophy-laden season for the reigning Scottish champions.