Celtic FC opinion: Silvan Widmer could be an ideal replacement for Lustig
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic have identified Swiss international right-back Silvan Widmer as a potential target in the summer transfer window, as manager Neil Lennon looks to add more depth to his options on the right-hand side of the backline.
Widmer, though, is not the only right-back to have hit Celtic’s radar in recent weeks, with The Scottish Sun claiming that the reigning Scottish champions are also running the check over Real Betis’ Antonio Barragan, who has prior experience of playing in England with Liverpool and Middlesbrough.
The Hoops have also been linked with a move for highly-rated Polish starlet Robert Gumny, who currently plies his trade with Polish heavyweights Lech Poznan. (h/t Scottish Sun)
Widmer, who currently plies his trade with Basel in the Swiss top-tier, only returned to his homeland last summer after enjoying a fruitful five-year spell at Udinese in the Serie A.
The 26-year-old has a contract at Basel until the summer of 2022 but Celtic apparently believe they can nab him for a thrifty amount.
A youth product of Swiss club Aarau, Widmer rose to prominence with his boyhood club before earning a move to Udinese in 2013, where he gradually established himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s backline in the Serie A.
The 9-cap Swiss international registered a total of 142 appearances in all competitions for Udinese, accumulating 5 goals and 18 assists in the process before returning to his homeland with Basel last summer for a club-record amount.
The 26-year-old impressed with 2 goals and 7 assists in 42 appearances last season, as Basel finished runners-up to BSC Young Boys in the Swiss top-flight. However, he might be on the move once again this summer, with Celtic weighing up a move for him.
Meanwhile, Celtic have taken significant strides towards solving their defensive problems with the acquisition of Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed, who have come through the door as replacements for last season’s mainstays Filip Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata.
Belgian left-back Boli Bolinbgoli-Mbombo has also been brought in from Rapid Vienna to cope with the departure of Emilio Izaguirre, with a view providing cover and competition for first-choice Kieran Tierney.
However, the Hoops are yet to find a solution to their right-back crisis following the departure of long-standing first-choice Mikael Lustig and back-up Cristian Gamboa.
Elhamed is capable of filling in as a makeshift right-back, however, one does get the feeling that Celtic would eventually need to bring in a specialist in that position.
To put things into perspective, Silvan Widmer has an impressive profile for a right-back and the Hoops have every reason to look at the Swiss international as someone who could possibly answer their prayers for a long-term replacement for Lustig.
Still only 26, Widmer already has a wealth of Serie A experience under his belt and it should not be a big challenge for a player of his calibre to acclimatise to the style of play prevalent in Scotland.
Quick across the ground, strong in the air and good with his crossing, Widmer is not only a calm and composed presence at the back but he is more than capable of venturing with the ball further up the pitch, thus providing valuable width to his team.
Celtic need to ensure that they have all their bases covered heading into the upcoming season and the acquisition of Silvan Widmer would definitely be a step in the direction.
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With that in mind, Celtic should wrap up a deal for the 26-year-old at the earliest, as the ‘treble treble’ winners look to make it nine-in-a-row over arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.