Why Celtic should complete a move for Barcelona’s Alex Collado
The Hoops are keen to sign the 21-year-old on a season-long loan deal. But they face stiff competition from top-flight clubs in Italy, Germany, and Spain, with Werder Bremen, Torino, and Villarreal just some of the clubs to have registered their interest in the La Masia graduate. (Daily Mail h/t Scottish Sun)
As per the report, Collado has been deemed surplus to requirements by new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman, who is willing to offload the attacker and raise some valuable cash to reinvest in his squad.
Born in Sabadell, Spain, Alex Collado had brief stints at Gimnastic Mercantil and Espanyol before joining Barcelona’s youth system back in 2009. He made rapid progress through the ranks and was a part of the squad that beat Chelsea in the final of the 2017-18 UEFA Youth League.
The 21-year-old has largely featured for Barcelona’s B team in the Segunda Division B, the third-tier of Spanish football, while also making a couple of first-team appearances for the Catalan giants.
Collado hasn’t really been able to establish himself at Camp Nou due to stiff competition for places but boasts an impressive track record for the club’s reserve side, having accumulated 10 goals and 8 assists in 61 appearances.
Collado would add more depth to Celtic’s wide options
Celtic have already signed the likes of Albian Ajeti, Vasilios Barkas, David Turnbull and Shane Duffy so far in the summer window to add more depth and quality to several areas of their squad. A new left-back should be a top priority for Neil Lennon before the deadline next month, with Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo departing on loan to join Istanbul Basaksehir.
That doesn’t mean the Hoops shouldn’t capitalise on market opportunities to bring in new players in other areas. With that in mind, the availability of a top-quality talent like Alex Collado presents a golden chance for Celtic to provide James Forrest with some real competition for his place on the right-hand side of the pitch.
Forrest, who is widely regarded as the best right-winger in Scottish football, has been an undisputed starter at Parkhead for the good part of the last decade. But with the Hoops graduate already past 29, it would definitely make sense for the club to try out a younger alternative with plenty of untapped potential.
Collado might have struggled to cement his place in Barcelona’s first-team but he remains a massive talent with the ability to cut the teeth in any top league in Europe. Celtic currently don’t have a specialist right-winger to compete with Forrest – Ryan Christie is more of a No.10 by trade – and the 21-year-old’s arrival at Parkhead would offer Lennon with some quality depth out wide.
The former Spanish U-19 international is also versatile enough to play on the left-hand side of the pitch and through the centre as an attacking midfielder. This sort of versatility would only add to the options at manager Lennon’s disposal.
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Celtic are only eyeing up a loan deal for Alex Collado, so that mitigates the risk factor in the move to a large extent. The 21-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and looks capable of shining at the highest level if provided with regular playtime.
Thus, the Hoops should push for his signing, in order to add cover and competition for James Forrest on the right-wing.