Why Celtic should move for Jere Uronen to sort out left-back issues
According to reports in Italy (h/t Glasgow Evening Times), Celtic have been credited with an interest in Finnish international left-back Jere Uronen, who currently plies his trade with Belgian heavyweights KRC Genk.
As per the report, Hoops manager Neil Lennon is looking to bring in reinforcements at the back after Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo was loaned out to Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this week.
Jere Uronen started his professional career with TPS in his native Finland before completing a move to Swedish giants Helsingborgs IF back in 2012. The left-back registered 90 appearances for Helsingborgs in all competitions, while also catching the eye in the Europa League.
The 26-year-old was snapped up by Genk in January 2016 and has since established himself as one of the top left-backs in Belgium. Uronen has featured a total of 149 times for the club in all competitions, scoring 5 goals and laying on 13 assists.
Uronen represented Finland across various age-group levels between U-15 and U-21 earlier in his career before making his senior international debut in 2012. He has since accumulated 42 caps for his nation at the highest level.
Uronen ticks all boxes to be Celtic’s long-term left-back
Celtic have already bolstered their backline this summer with the acquisition of Shae Duffy on a season-long loan deal from Brighton. However, with Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo departing Parkhead on loan after falling out of favour due to breach of Covid-19 restrictions, bringing in a new left-back should be a priority for the Hoops before the October deadline.
Greg Taylor has established himself as the first-choice in that position but he’s the only specialist senior option available at Lennon’s disposal. Hence, it goes without saying that Celtic need more cover and competition at left-back to avoid a potential burnout, given the challenge of competing on multiple fronts moving forward.
To put things into perspective, Jere Uronen fits the bill perfectly as an impact signing for the Hoops this summer. The 26-year-old has plenty of top-flight experience in Belgium, Finland, and Sweden while he has also proven himself in the Europa League.
The Finnish international’s impressive track record of goals and assists for Genk clearly indicates that he is a good all-round attacking full-back capable of contributing further up the pitch.
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It’s unclear whether Celtic are eyeing Jere Uronen as an outright upgrade on Taylor, but he certainly seems to have everything in his locker to establish himself as the club’s first-choice left-back. The Hoops need healthy competition for places in their ranks and Uronen’s arrival will certainly sort out a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch for Lennon.
The 26-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and Celtic completing a move for him would put them in good stead for their 10th league title in a row.