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Given the potential loss of Patrick Roberts among others, Celtic will need to inject more pace and attacking power into their squad before next season.
They shouldn’t have too many problems domestically, but in Europe, they been way below the required standard. Step forward Nigerian Henry Onyekuru.
Onyekuru has hit 18 goals and 7 assists in his 34 games in all competitions this season which is an outstanding record. In fact, he has produced a goal or an assist every 120 minutes for Eupen in Belgium’s Pro League and at just 19 he would only improve on this.
Celtic’s need for attacking reinforcements will be more pronounced should they lose Moussa Dembele. The young Frenchman is bound to attract the sort of bids Celtic will find hard to turn down and it’s not to be forgotten that Patrick Roberts is only on loan from Manchester City and wishes to fight for his place in pre-season in order to impress Pep Guardiola.
The need then would become obvious and the fact that West Bromwich Albion and Southampton are interested in Onyekuru is a huge hint to his quality. Southampton have made a habit of bringing in fine young talents who have proven fully capable in the Premier League in England and so it would be no surprise should clubs attempt to piggyback their scouting regime.
In this case though, Celtic were chasing the young man having already made a failed attempt to land him in January which put other clubs on alert. As well as Southampton and West Brom, there has been some level of interest from Liverpool too and so the young Nigerian has become a hot property.
Although he is apparently keen on a move to Celtic in the winter, nobody could blame the player if his head gets turned by interest from England. With the exception of Liverpool though, none of the interested parties could offer him Champions League football and that is a huge draw.
Given that interest and the way modern football agents work, don’t expect Celtic to get their man early in the summer. The Onyekuru camp will probably wait for the very best offer before putting pen to paper anywhere in a deal which could be worth around £7million.
The money will not be a problem for Celtic with player sales on the cards, but they will have to be careful not to be ripped off in the transfer market. That said, it is vital that they improve their squad to compete at the top level. Belgium’s Player of the Year-elect would be a good player to sign for sure.