Celtic should re-ignite interest in Samir Memisevic in January
Scottish Premiership champions Celtic should consider reigniting their interest in Samir Memisevic. The Glasgow giants had previously been linked with the towering centre-back in the summer.
The 6ft 1in defender has impressed for FC Groningen during the last two seasons in the Eredivisie. He has scored three goals and provided an assist in 73 Eredivisie games since joining from Bosnian side Radnik.
Samir Memisevic was heavily linked with a move to the Scottish Premiership towards the end of August. Oslobedenje claimed that the Bosnian international was close to signing for the Parkhead side. However, Brendan Rodgers’ side went on to sign Filip Benkovic on loan from Leicester City instead. So far, Benkovic has enjoyed a decent start to life in Glasgow.
Dedryck Boyata’s future at Celtic is up in the air heading into the winter transfer window (h/t BBC). The Belgium international’s contract will expire in the summer of 2019. Furthermore, Premier League newcomers Fulham were interested in signing Boyata in the summer and could renew their interest in January (h/t BBC).
A move away from Parkhead would leave Celtic exposed at the back unless they sign a quality cover. Should the 28-year-old end his association with the Parkhead giants, Memisevic could be drafted in as a replacement.
The 25-year-old has shown his versatility in recent weeks. Memisevic was recently shifted to a defensive midfield role and the player did not let his quality dip. Strong in the air and a good dribbler, he offers solidity while patrolling the area in front of the defence in a more advanced role.
Samir Memisevic would provide Brendan Rodgers with a number of alternatives and squad depth needed to defend their title.
The Bhoys have so far been impressive this season, leading the pile on the Premiership table. With bitter rivals Rangers hot on their heels, Celtic need to shore up their defensive options as they look to continue their domestic dominance.
At 25, Memisevic is heading into his prime and a move to Celtic would give him the best platform to establish himself as a player.
[Image] Oliver Burke to receive a start? – Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic XI to face Kilmarnock
Celtic vs Kilmarnock Predictions: Predicted Celtic starting XI
Celtic have been quite comfortable at the top of the Scottish Premiership table for quite a while now. With only a few games left to play before the season comes to a close, the chances of them conceding their 9-point lead to Rangers is unbelievably low.
Despite dropping points against Hibernian last time out, Neil Lennon will be confident that he can see out the remainder of the campaign in the top spot. They will be looking to regain momentum ahead of yet another Old Firm Derby that’s fast-approaching.
Vakoun Bayo and Tony Ralston are both unavailable for this fixture as they’re currently dealing with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.
First-choice centre-half Dedryck Boyata has been ruled out for the rest of the season in what has been a massive blow to this Celts side.
Daniel Arzani and Kouassi Eboue both have problems in the leg which have effectively drawn their seasons to a close. Ryan Christie is currently recovering from a head problem and is only expected back into the team at the start of next season.
Predicted Celtic XI
Manager: Neil Lennon
GK – Scott Bain
The former Aberdeen man has effectively nailed down the starting role at Celtic Park and has impressed during this spell too.
RB – Mikael Lustig
The Swedish international defender has been questioned about his work-rate and will be looking to bounce back.
CB – Jozo Simunovic
The young Croation centre-half has impressed since coming into the side and is expected to keep his place.
CB – Kristoffer Ajer
The 21-year-old Norwegian defender has stepped up to the place for Celtic this season and should stay in the side.
LB – Emilio Izaguirre
This Honduran international left-back has played 13 league games this season and is expected to start this one.
CDM – Scott Brown
The veteran midfielder has been one of their most important players of the season and has starred despite his age.
CDM – Olivier Ntcham
The French professional has played 17 times in the league for Celtic and has even managed to get 3 goals from midfield.
RM – James Forrest
The Scottish international winger brings a certain degree of unpredictability to the Celts and will need to be at his best.
CAM – Callum McGregor
The Scottish international central-midfielder has 8 assists to his name this season and has done will in the middle.
RM – Oliver Burke
The West Brom loanee didn’t play in their 0-0 draw on the weekend and will be raring to have a go at Kilmarnock.
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ST – Odsonne Edouard
The former Paris Saint Germain man has been in excellent goalscoring form this season and will be looking to start
Fulham must appoint this 47-year-old Celtic legend as their new manager and resurrect their lost fame – Agreed?
Fulham Opinion: Cottagers should appoint Neil Lennon as the manager
The Cottagers are set for a season in the Championship next term after getting relegated from the Premier League and Fulham are considering the possibility of appointing the former Northern Irish international as the new full-time manager in the summer.
Scott Parker is currently in charge on a temporary basis at Craven Cottage following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri but the club hierarchy believe that he hasn’t done anything significant to convince them to retain him at the helm of affairs beyond the end of the current season.
Lennon, on the other hand, took over as the interim manager at Parkhead last month following the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City. Rodgers left Celtic in a strong position to win the Scottish Premiership title and the 47-year-old former club legend has ensured that the Hoops cruise to the domestic title.
The Scottish Sun also reports that Lennon is in pole position to land the permanent job at Celtic after guiding the team to a series of impressive results in recent weeks and he would only consider a position at another club should the Hoops refuse to keep him at the club for the foreseeable future.
Lennon enjoyed a trophy-laden spell at Parkhead as a player and emulated that feat as a manager earlier in his career when he guided the Hoops to 3 consecutive Scottish Premiership titles and 2 Scottish Cup triumphs between 2010 and 2014.
His only previous managerial experience in England came in the Championship at Bolton Wanderers between 2014 to 2016, though his time at the Reebok Stadium was blighted by off-the-field controversies. He left Bolton on mutual consent following a series of unimpressive results and returned to Scotland with Hibernian where he won the 2016-17 Scottish Championship.
To put things into perspective, Fulham should not have any second thoughts about replacing Parker with Neil Lennon. The 47-year-old can bring that winning mentality back to Craven Cottage after a disastrous season in the Premier League and he certainly has all that it takes to guide the west London outfit back to the top flight in the very first chance.
During his first spell at Parkhead as a manager, Lennon made a name for himself with his brave decision-making and tactical flexibility, completing a complete overhaul of Celtic’s squad in the summer of 2010.
The Northern Irishman sold plenty of experienced players like Artur Boruc and Aiden McGeady and brought in several talented, cheap and little-known players like Beram Kayal, Emilio Izaguirre, Gary Hooper, Daniel Majstorovic and many others to the club, most of whom went on to enjoy a successful spell at Parkhead.
Lennon likes to target free-agents and bargain deals in the transfer market, which is exactly the kind of approach Fulham need to adopt in the summer. It is not very often that a club gets relegated after spending close to a 100 million but Fulham have managed to do so.
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Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jean Michael Seri, Calum Chambers, Tom Cairney, Andre Schurrle, Ryan Sessegnon and Luciano Vietto are all expected to leave the club after getting relegated and Lennon’s presence at the helm of affairs would help Fulham deal with such a major clear-out of players.
Moreover, he knows how to extract the best out of the existing players at the club, while also having a good reputation of being able to bring up talented players from the academy.
The 47-year-old certainly has the acumen and the charisma to stabilize things at Craven Cottage and get the club back to the top flight in the first time of asking.
Celtic appointing this 43-year-old tactician to replace Rodgers should be an absolute no-brainer – Agreed?
Celtic Opinion: Graham Potter shortlisted by the Hoops- a wise move?
The Scottish Sun reports that the 43-year-old has his name amongst the long list of potential candidates drawn up by Celtic, as the hierarchy aims to find a long-term successor to the throne of Brendan Rodgers, who left for Leicester City last month.
The same report claims that interim manager and club legend Neil Lennon is in pole position to land the job on a permanent basis but Celtic are keeping their options open to make sure that they appoint the right person.
Lennon spent seven years as a player at Parkhead before enjoying a four-year stint as the manager from 2010-14.
It would be of little surprise if Celtic do appoint Lennon as the permanent manager as he has done pretty well since taking charge on a temporary basis following Rodgers’ departure and has ensured that the Bhoys cruise to the domestic title.
However, Celtic’s interest in Graham Potter should please the fans at Parkhead as it is a clear indication that the club are seeking a long-term replacement.
Potter has impressed since taking charge of Swansea City last summer following their relegation from the Premier League, working with a tight budget and guiding the club to 13th in the Championship in his first season as a manager in English football.
Swansea haven’t been able to mount a significant challenge for immediate promotion back to the Premier League but few would argue that Potter has been instrumental in transforming their fortunes as a part of a long-term project.
It has been quite apparent from Swansea’s style of play and their approach in the transfer market that want to get back to the Premier League but they want to carve out an identity for themselves as well.
The Swans, under Potter, have looked impressive at times and have earned plaudits for their possession-based attractive football, which involves building the play from the back.
To add to that, Potter has done a tremendous job in bringing up young talents like Daniel James and Conor Roberts at Swansea, which is another thing that Celtic must consider.
Potter earned rave reviews for his tactical intelligence and flexible approach back in his earlier managerial days at Ostersund in Sweden, helping the club secure promotion from the second tier and eventually make a name for themselves in the top flight.
It was under his stewardship that Ostersund made it to the Europa League group stages for the first time in their history and his stocks rose even higher when the club beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates in the Round of 32 of the 2017-18 Europa League.
Regarded as a modern-day manager who believes in a dynamic approach to the game, Potter not only brings in new ideas but he knows to how implement them as well.
Known for his flexibility, the 43-year-old is never afraid to experiment with his team dynamics and often tends to play different systems over the course of the ninety minutes to keep the opposition on their toes.
Moreover, his free-flowing possession-based attractive football is sure to endear him to the hearts of the fans at Parkhead.
Despite Celtic’s interest in Potter, it would be foolish for Swansea to let him go and it remains to be seen whether he throws away the chance to climb up the ladder as a manager in English football.
However, managing a team with European ambitions should appeal to the 43-year-old and a move to Celtic would offer him a better chance of making a big reputation for himself in Europe.
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That said, Graham Potter would be an ideal choice if Celtic are indeed planning for the long-term. They have stamped their authority in the domestic league in recent years but Potter’s intelligence and acumen might help them make an impression in the European competitions as well.
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