Leicester City Opinion: Foxes should make James Forrest a top priority in the summer
According to The Times, Leicester City are weighing up a deal for £10 million-rated Celtic winger James Forrest this summer, with reports claiming that Brendan Rodgers is plotting a sensational reunion with the 27-year-old Scottish international.
Leicester, though, are not the only club in the Premier League to have expressed an interest in Forrest, with The Scottish Sun reporting back in January that Liverpool were also keeping tabs on the player.
Forrest, who has been associated with Celtic since the age of 11, is widely regarded as one of the brightest talents in the Scottish Premiership and has helped the Hoops to seven consecutive domestic league triumphs.
The 27-year-old boasts of an impressive tally for Celtic, having accumulated a total of 72 goals and 70 assists from 347 appearances for the Hoops in all competitions over the course of his illustrious career at Parkhead.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Forrest has also showcased the versatility to play out wide as an inverted winger on the left and as an attacking midfielder through the centre.
Noted for his low centre-of-gravity, lightning pace, exceptional close control, dribbling skills, sharpness and agility, Forrest not only has all the attributes of a natural winger but he is also good enough to be regarded as a playmaker, owing to his passing, crossing and vision.
The Scottish international boasts of an impressive range of passing in his repertoire of skills and he combines that with his trickery, acceleration, drive and determination to tear the opposition to pieces.
The 27-year-old has a wonderful eye for goal from all ranges, while also possessing the work-ethic to track back and help out his defenders, which is a sine-qua-non for any winger in the English game.
To put things into perspective, Leicester City could strike gold with the signing of James Forrest in the summer and the fans at the King Power Stadium should be absolutely overjoyed if Brendan Rodgers manages to complete this audacious swoop.
However, Forrest is one of the top players in the Scottish Premiership and a firm fan favourite at Celtic, which might make it difficult for the deal to go materialize.
The Foxes have looked like a different team altogether since the arrival of Rodgers a couple of months back and the new manager has done a great job in transforming their fortunes in the Premier League.
Rodgers’ arrival has also sparked a massive upturn in form for Jamie Vardy, who has scored 10 goals in the last 10 games to propel the Foxes to 6 wins from their last 10 Premier League outings.
James Maddison has continued to prove his worth as one of the best emerging playmakers in the top five leagues of Europe, while on-loan sensation Youri Tielemans has strengthened his claims of earning a permanent transfer with some consistently impressive performances in central midfield.
Academy products Harvey Barnes and Hamza Choudhury have shown strong signs of excellence under Rodgers, which is another positive that Leicester should take from his brief reign so far.
However, the Foxes are yet to find a replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who made his move to Man City last summer. They brought in his international teammate Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco to fill in his boots but he hasn’t had much of a positive impact in the Premier League this season.
It has been quite clear form Rodgers’ team selection that he doesn’t see Ghezzal as a regular starter, and although the Foxes have the likes of Demarai Gray and Marcus Albrighton as options out wide on the right, someone like James Forrest can help them improve massively in the final third.
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James Forrest is one of the most influential figures at Celtic and it is unlikely that he would leave his boyhood club to reunite with Rodgers. But, if they do manage to strike a deal for the 27-year-old, it would be nothing short of a masterstroke.
Forget Edouard- Celtic should not think twice about signing this £10m-rated PL striker and here is why
Celtic Opinion: Lys Mousset could be a massive coup for the Hoops
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing £10 million-rated Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset, who is keen to complete a move away from the south coast in search of more regular minutes.
The Scottish Sun understands that Celtic are reluctant to smash their club-record fee to secure the services of the 23-year-old out-of-favour Bournemouth striker but the Hoops are looking at a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Frenchman to Parkhead.
Born in Montivilliers, France, to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Lys Mousset rose through the youth ranks at Ligue 2 club Le Havre and shot to prominence with 14 goals in 35 appearances for the second-tier outfit.
His prolific form in his homeland earned him a move to the Premier League with Bournemouth, who paid €7.3 million to bring the talented youngster to English football.
Despite all his promise and potential, Mousset has struggled for regular minutes under manager Eddie Howe due to the presence of more established strikers like Callum Wilson and Joshua King. The 23-year-old has made a total of 71 appearances for the Cherries in all competitions till date, scoring on 5 occasions.
That looks like an incredibly poor scoring record for any striker but Mousset is hardly to blame for those numbers. As a matter of fact, only 8 of his 58 appearances in the Premier League have been starts, while others have just been cameos off the bench.
And with the likes of Wilson and King performing at the peak of their powers, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for Mousset on the south coast.
To put things into perspective, Mousset remains an immensely-talented youngster but his development has stalled at Bournemouth and a move to Celtic would offer him the chance to restart his career. Celtic, on the other hand, should relish getting a promising attacker like Mousset on board in the summer transfer window, although the Hoops might struggle to meet Bournemouth’s valuation.
Celtic went down 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are well and truly on course to securing their 8th straight domestic title.
They also have a chance of completing a third successive domestic treble if they manage to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month. Celtic’s dominance has reigned supreme in Scottish football for almost a decade now, but as well all know, there is no room for complacency in football.
The potential departure of players like Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa should prompt the Hoops to dip into the transfer window for defensive reinforcements.
However, they also have a few bases to cover as far as their options in the attacking third are concerned. Odsonne Edouard has enjoyed another prolific season but they need to bring in replacements for departing loanees Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.
Leigh Griffiths has been out of the game since late last year, while January recruit Vakoun Issouf Bayo is not really in the frame at the moment.
Someone like Lys Mousset can help reduce the goalscoring burden on Edouard, while also adding depth to the squad and increasing competition for places.
The 23-year-old has good pace and flair on the ball and is more than capable of outsmarting the opposition with his sharpness, trickery and intelligent movement in the final third.
He moves the ball around quickly, creates his own space and occupies the defenders, meaning that he could add a lot of value to Celtic’s attack.
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Mousset, a former youth international for France, has potential and he just needs to play more regularly to take his game to the next level.
The Hoops should take a lesson from how young French strikers like Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard evolved into prolific scorers in the Scottish Premiership and Lys Mousset could be the next in line.
Hence, the Hoops should not hesitate to splash the cash on the talented Bournemouth star and it should be a win-win deal for all parties concerned.
Celtic raiding Chelsea to sign this 24-year-old wall would be the ideal solution to strengthening their backline
Celtic Opinion: Fikayo Tomori would be a wonderful signing for the Hoops
The Daily Record understands that Tomori’s consistently impressive performances in the Championship have impressed Celtic and the Hoops want to bring him to Parkhead this summer, although it is still unclear whether they want a loan agreement or a permanent deal for the youngster.
Tomori has been one of the architects of Derby County’s successful season in the Championship this term, playing a key role in the Rams surge to the finals of the playoffs.
The 21-year-old has been an ever-present for Frank Lampard’s side at the heart of the defence alongside Richard Keogh, making a total of 54 appearances for the Rams in all competitions this season.
The Canada-born centre-back has earned rave reviews for his incredible performances at Pride Park and Daily Record claims that Derby are keen to turn his loan deal into a permanent move.
That, however, would solely depend on whether or not they manage to make it to the Premier League by beating Aston Villa in the playoff final at Wembley.
Born in Calgary, Canada, to parents of Nigerian descent, Tomori moved to England at a very young age and rose through the youth ranks at Chelsea before making his Premier League debut for the Blues against Leicester City in the 2015-16 season.
However, that remains his only appearance for Chelsea till date and he has been farmed out to Brighton, Hull City and Derby County over the past three seasons.
Standing at 6ft. 1 inch with a stocky frame, Tomori cannot be classified as a towering or a gigantic centre-back but he has impressed a lot with his wonderful tackling skills and sound game-reading ability.
An aggressive defender by nature, Tomori has gradually learnt to use that aspect of his game to his advantage, showing plenty of maturity in terms of composure and decision-making.
To add to that, Tomori is also blessed with the ball-playing qualities of a modern-day centre-back, which not only allows him to be comfortable in possession but also play it out from the back and switch the play with long balls.
Despite not being the tallest of centre-backs, Tomori knows how to use his physicality to outmuscle the opposition and win headers inside the box. The 21-year-old averaged 2.2 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 3.9 clearances and 2.8 aerial duels per game in the Championship, whilst also boasting of a pass accuracy rate of 82.7.
The youngster has progressed by leaps and bounds on his loan spell at Derby and it would be fair to say that he is ready to play a part in Chelsea’s first-team.
However, it is unlikely that he would get a serious look in at Stamford Bridge next season, with the likes of David Luiz, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger performing at the peak of their powers.
To put things into perspective, Celtic could possibly strike gold by securing the services of Fikayo Tomori in the summer, although the Hoops might need to break the bank if they are really considering a permanent deal for the youngster.
Neil Lennon needs to start looking at potential defensive reinforcements ahead of the summer transfer window, with Dedryck Boyata out of contract and Filip Benkovic still unsure whether to return to Leicester or stay on loan at Parkhead for another season.
Norwegian centre-back Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic have done reasonably well but one cannot help but feel that Celtic need at least another defender in their ranks to maintain the perfect balance.
Celtic lost 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are on the verge of claiming their 8th straight domestic title, while a victory over Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month would see them bag a third successive domestic treble.
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However, the Hoops should be open to investing in talented youngsters and Fikayo Tomori is certainly a player with a mountain of potential. To conclude, Celtic could have a gem in their hands if they manage to strike a deal for the 21-year-old English youth international this summer.
Oliver Burke to lead the line ahead of Edouard? – Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic XI to face Heart of Midlothian
Celtic FC vs Heart of Midlothian Predictions: Celtic FC Line-up
Scottish champions Celtic will take on Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park in their final Scottish Premiership game of the season on Sunday afternoon.
The Hoops have already won the Scottish Premiership title and the Scottish League Cup this season, and have reached the final of the Scottish Cup, where they’ll face Hearts next weekend.
A win for Hearts at Celtic Park will give them a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the Scottish Cup final.
Odsonne Edouard, Jonny Hayes and Mikael Lustig are likely to miss the game against Hearts on Sunday. Dedryck Boyata and Ryan Christie are already sidelined with injury.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Neil Lennon
Scott Bain (GK)
Bain has been Celtic’s no.1 since the turn of the year and that won’t change on Sunday.
Anthony Ralston (RB)
With Lustig out injured, Ralston could be handed a rare start at right-back.
Jozo Simunovic (CB)
Simunovic has done very well in the last few games and is set to keep his place in Celtic’s defence.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
Ajer has been a regular at the back for the Hoops in the last couple of months. He is a certain starter against Hearts.
Jeremy Toljan (LB)
Toljan has disappointed since joining on loan from Dortmund in January. However, he is expected to start at left-back.
Olivier Ntcham (CM)
Lennon could hand Ntcham a start ahead of Brown in the middle of the park at the weekend. If that happens, the Frenchman should look to repay the manager’s faith.
Callum McGregor (CM)
Celtic’s best player of the season, McGregor is an undoubted starter in the final league game of the season.
James Forrest (RW)
With his pace and dribbling skills, Forrest could give the Hearts defenders a tough time at Celtic Park.
Tom Rogic (CAM)
Rogic has endured an injury-hit campaign which has affected his productivity for the Hoops. Now fully fit, though, he will start in his preferred no.10 role against Hearts.
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Scott Sinclair (LW)
Sinclair has blown hot and cold throughout the season for Celtic. However, he’ll look to finish the campaign on a high.
Oliver Burke (ST)
With Edouard out injured, Burke will be his natural replacement for the no.9 role.
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