Celtic might not need to spend money in order to solve their defensive woes as the answer to their problem might already at the club.
Alongside needing to settle the goalkeeping situation Celtic fans are concerned that they need to see the left back position strengthened. There may be a simple solution which could be implemented over the coming weeks.
There’s a growing view that neither Greg Taylor nor Boli Bolingoli are the answer for Celtic at left back. Taylor is the better defender, while he gets forward, his final ball is lacking and opportunities are wasted. Bolingoli isn’t a defender, he loses his position and the opposition players too often. He gets a bit overexcited going forward and stray passes often give the ball to the opposition.
Celtic’s style of play would ideally have a left back who can defend but gets forward down the wings and can get a decent ball in the box or to forwards nearby. We’re not quite behind the 50% pass mark on that currently.
With limited budgets we may not be able to splash out and bring in a replacement, cash may be needed for a goalkeeper or elsewhere on the pitch. And it’s always a gamble buying players at the cheaper end of the market. Would we sign better than we have currently?
A possible easy solution is not to buy. We already have Andrew Gutman signed up as a left back, he joined on January 31, 2019 along with Manny Perez on a three and a half year contract but both were immediately loaned back out to continue their development in the US.
If Celtic were linked to a young left back currently earning rave reviews for defensive and attacking play, everyone would be excited about the prospect whether they’d heard of him or not. Here’s one who is already with the Hoops.
Gutman talked to STV news recently and expressed a desire to head for Celtic after his loan spell in MLS (Major League Soccer in the US) ends:
“I had conversations when I was back at Celtic – obviously the big issue was my work permit – but what I got out of the conversation is that the manager really likes me, he rates me.
“But I need to kick on at a first-team level to show my qualities. So hopefully after this loan spell I can go back and kick on at Celtic.”
Gutman talked about seeing a real improvement in his game over the last 5 months and he’s now playing and learning from Jaap Stam who manages the FC Cincinnati team Gutman plays for:
“He has been fantastic for me and really given me good advice on my defending, but also my willingness to go forward.”
Gutman is earning rave reviews in the US as FC Cincinnati progressed through to the next round of the MLS is Back tournament designed to get football back in action after the 2020 season was stopped shortly after commencing in March. The final is in August. The rest of the season may well continue through to November with plans being considered.
His current form and style of play could well be attractive to add to Celtic’s playing squad as a known entity. There could though be an opportunity coming up for him to head to Scotland before the season recommences and join Celtic’s squad. Maybe that’s an option the club might follow to bolster the squad and provide more left back options.