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Celtic in the race to sign 21-year-old rising star in cut-price deal – A smart move by Lennon?

Stephan Ambrosius
HAMBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Stephan Ambrosius of Hamburg runs with the ball during the Second Bundesliga match between Hamburger SV and Fortuna Düsseldorf at Volksparkstadion on September 18, 2020 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Why Celtic should go all out for Stephan Ambrosius in January

According to German outlet Bild (h/t Leeds Live), Celtic have joined Leeds United in the race to sign Stephan Ambrosius, who currently plies his trade with Hamburger SV in the German second-tier.

The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Elland Road over the past few months but Celtic have now emerged as a potential destination ahead of the January window. Ambrosius is out of contract at Hamburger next summer but the German outfit are hoping to tie him down to fresh terms before the mid-season trading period gets underway. (Bild h/t Leeds Live)

Profile

Stephan Ambrosius started his footballing education at FC St. Pauli before joining Hamburger SV’s youth system back in 2012. He represented the club across various age groups and was promoted to the reserves in 2017. A year later, the centre-back made his senior professional debut in the Bundesliga against VfB Stuttgart. 

The 21-year-old largely featured for Hamburger’s reserve side over the past two seasons but has established himself as a regular fixture in the first-team this term. Ambrosius has started 6 out of the club’s 8 opening league games in the 2.Bundesliga so far, guiding them to the top of the standings. 

HAMBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 21: Stephan Ambrosius of Hamburg gestures during the Second Bundesliga match between Hamburger SV and FC Erzgebirge Aue at Volksparkstadion on October 21, 2020, in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Ambrosius would be a long-term solution to the Hoops’ defensive issues

Celtic roped in Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton to bolster their defensive unit in the summer. The move seemed to have paid off after the Irishman announced himself at Parkhead with some quality displays at the back but his stocks have been on the decline over the past few weeks.

Duffy has come under serious scrutiny for some high-profile errors as a part of a collective defensive failure at Parkhead. He isn’t the only one to blame, though, for Celtic’s ongoing struggles at the back, with the injury to Christopher Jullien and Nir Bitton’s inconsistent form also being major contributing factors.

SIEGEN, GERMANY – AUGUST 18: Stephan Ambrosius of Hamburg runs with the ball during the DFB Cup first-round match between TuS Erndtebrueck and Hamburger SV at Leimbachstadion on August 18, 2018, in Siegen, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Suffice to say, Celtic need to sort out their defensive issues at the earliest if they are to keep their hopes of securing a 10th straight domestic title alive. And the potential availability of Stephan Ambrosius at a knockdown price in January presents an excellent opportunity for the Hoops to strengthen their centre-back department. 

Verdict

Ambrosius has already started to deliver on his potential at Hamburger in the German second-tier and looks more than ready to thrive at Celtic. He isn’t quite the finished article but still has plenty of time on his side to make significant improvements to his game at just 21. 

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With Duffy set to return to Brighton at the end of his loan spell next summer and Kristoffer Ajer continuing to attract interest from AC Milan, a deal for Ambrosius would surely help the Hoops restructure their backline. That said, Celtic completing a cut-price swoop for the Germany U-21 starlet in January would definitely represent a shrewd piece of business.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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