Why Celtic signing Lukas Nmecha would bolster their attack
Back in August, a report from the Daily Mail (h/t Daily Record) had claimed that Celtic were keeping tabs on Manchester City starlet Lukas Nmecha with a view to a potential transfer in the summer window. However, the German youth international eventually completed a loan move to Belgian giants Anderlecht, with Celtic turning their attention to other targets before the deadline.
Lukas Nmecha represented Man City across various age-groups before making his first-team debut for the Cityzens in an EFL Cup tie against Leicester City in December 2017. Having made his Premier League debut towards the latter half of the 2017-18 campaign, Nmecha was loaned out to Preston North End for the following season to enhance his development with more regular playtime.
The 21-year-old spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at VfL Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga and Middlesbrough in the EFL Championship. After struggling to make a big impression on any of his loan spells away from the Etihad, Nmecha joined Anderlecht on a temporary deal this past summer.
The youngster has hit the ground running in Belgium, earning rave reviews for his fine start to the 2020-21 campaign that has seen him bag 5 goals in 10 appearances across all competitions so far. Nmecha has represented both England and Germany at the U-21 level, scoring 8 times in 14 appearances for the latter.
Nmecha would be an exciting addition to Celtic’s ranks
Celtic roped in Albian Ajeti from West Ham to bolster their attack in the summer and the Swiss international has proved to be a fine addition to Neil Lennon’s ranks. The 23-year-old has scored 5 goals in 10 league appearances for the Hoops so far, establishing himself as a key squad player at Parkhead.
Indeed, Ajeti’s arrival has helped the Hoops cope with the inconsistent form of star man Odsonne Edouard up top. The Frenchman stayed put at Celtic amid widespread speculation over his future throughout the summer but has struggled to emulate the standards set by himself in the previous campaigns.
With Patryk Klimala failing to make a positive impression following his move to Parkhead back in January and veteran Leigh Griffiths also very much a peripheral figure in the side, Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to reshape their attack with one eye on the future.
Mo Elyounoussi is also expected to return to Southampton at the end of the season when his loan spell comes to an end, which would further create a void in the attacking department.
Putting things into context, Celtic should make a renewed attempt to sign Lukas Nmecha next summer when he returns to Man City upon the expiry of his loan at Anderlecht. The German U-21 starlet has finally started to deliver on his potential in the Belgian top-flight and a move to Scotland could well be in the best interests of all parties involved.
Essentially a centre-forward by trade, Nmecha is also capable of operating as a wide attacker on either flank. Hence, a potential swoop for the 21-year-old would offer Lennon some much-needed depth and quality in multiple areas across the forward line.
In other words, Nmecha not only fits the bill as cover and competition for Ajeti and Edouard up top but would also reduce the workload on James Forrest to a large extent.
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Celtic have a healthy working relationship with Man City when it comes to transfers. The likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Dedryck Boyata and Olivier Ntcham have all swapped the Etihad for Celtic Park in recent years.
Lukas Nmecha fits the bill as an exciting young striker with a lot of potential who is only going to get better with time. Having said that, the Hoops returning in the market for the youngster next summer would definitely make a lot of sense in footballing terms.