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A smart long-term investment – Why Celtic would be quite shrewd to sign this 20-year-old rising starlet

Alfie Doughty has been tracked by Celtic for quite a long time (Getty Images)
Alfie Doughty has been tracked by Celtic for quite a long time (Getty Images)

Why Alfie Doughty would be a good long-term signing for Celtic

According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are about to ramp up their interest in Charlton Athletic midfielder Alfie Doughty, who has been on the Hoops’ radar over the past few months. 

Charlton have already rejected a bid from Luton Town for the 20-year-old, who broke into the first-team picture at the Valley during the Addicks’ relegation campaign in the Championship last season. (h/t Scottish Sun)

However, as per the report, Celtic boss Neil Lennon is keen to bring the versatile left-sided starlet to Parkhead for a fee of around £750,000 this summer.

Profile

Born in London, Alfie Doughty rose through the youth ranks of Charlton Athletic before making his first-team debut for the Addicks in an EFL Cup tie against MK Dons back in August 2018. 

The hero of the day: Alfie Doughty | Vital Charlton Athletic
Alfie Doughty featured 29 times for Charlton Athletic in the Championship last season (Getty Images)

He was loaned out to Kingstonian in the Isthmian League Premier Division to enhance his development with regular minutes. He subsequently had a temporary stint at non-league outfit Bromley in the following campaign before making the step up to Charlton’s senior side.

Doughty went on to feature 29 times (20 starts, 9 substitute appearances) for the Addicks in the Championship last term, registering 2 goals and 4 assists as Lee Bowyer’s side suffered relegation to the third-tier.

The 20-year-old primarily featured as a left-winger last season, while also showcasing the versatility to slot in at left-back and left wing-back.

Celtic need more cover down the flanks

Celtic have been very active in the summer window after winning their ninth consecutive league title last season. The Hoops have already roped in the likes of Vasilios Barkas, David Turnbull, and Albian Ajeti on permanent deals while also securing a loan move for centre-back Shane Duffy.

Alfie Doughty - from National League debut to Championship bow in two months | CAFC
Celtic are prepared to step up their interest in Doughty this summer (Getty Images)

Neil Lennon has used the transfer window to good effect so far, strengthening several areas of his squad with fresh faces. However, there are still a few areas that necessitate immediate attention, and left-wing is certainly among them.

Having lost the likes of Lewis Morgan, Scott Sinclair, and Jonny Hayes in recent transfer windows, Celtic currently lack adequate depth in their wide options. Mohamed Elyounoussi remains the go-to man for Lennon on the left. But it’s worth reminding that the Norwegian had his fair share of struggles with injuries last season.

Youngster Mikey Johnston is the only recognised back-up in that department, although James Forrest is also capable of operating on that flank despite being better suited to a right-wing role.

To put things into perspective, Celtic can certainly do with more cover down the left-hand side of the pitch. Alfie Doughty presents a young and versatile option in the market. The 20-year-old showed his ability to contribute with goals and assists in the Championship last term, which is something Lennon should surely take note of.

Celtic have bid rejected for Charlton's Alfie Doughty as Lee Bowyer advises youngster against move
Alfie Doughty registered 2 goals and 4 assists for the Addicks in the Championship (Getty Images)

Moreover, his versatility to slot into left-back and wing-back roles on the left would hand a significant boost to Lennon’s squad dynamics considering that the Hoops boss has occasionally opted for a back-three system over the past 12 months.

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Verdict

Celtic unearthed a true gem in Jeremie Frimpong while raiding the English top-flight last summer and Alfie Doughty seems to be another young player with loads of potential. The 20-year-old still has plenty of room for improvement and Celtic completing a deal to sign the Charlton graduate could well prove to be a smart long-term investment.

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