in , , ,

Celtic completing a loan move for this talented 20-year-old ace would be a good boost

Rekeem Harper (Getty Images)

Why Celtic signing Rekeem Harper on loan would bolster their midfield

According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic have been linked with a loan move for West Brom midfielder Rekeem Harper, who is currently out of favour at the Hawthorns. 

The Hoops are understood to be long-standing admirers of the 20-year-old enforcer. Harper had been linked with a move to Parkhead in 2019 after Neil Lennon scouted him in person but he opted to stay put in West Midlands after signing a new contract. (h/t Scottish Sun)

However, Harper has emerged on Celtic’s radar once again ahead of the January window. The highly-rated youngster is expected to seek a departure next month after failing to make a senior competitive appearance for the Baggies this season so far. 

Profile

Born in Birmingham, Rekeem Harper joined West Brom’s youth system at the age of 12 and went on to represent the Baggies at U-18 and U-23 levels. He eventually made his first-team debut as a substitute against Bournemouth in August 2017, becoming the second player born in the 2000s to play in the Premier League. 

Harper scored once in 17 league appearances in the second-tier in the following campaign as West Brom were beaten in the playoffs. He signed a new three-year deal after that but struggled to establish himself as a key player under former manager Slaven Bilic. The midfielder started just 4 games in the Championship last season, featuring sporadically as the Baggies secured automatic promotion.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 05: Rekeem Harper of West Bromwich Albion is held by James Vennings of Charlton Athletic during the FA Cup Third Round match between Charlton Athletic and West Bromwich Albion at The Valley on January 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old hasn’t been anywhere close to West Brom’s first-team in the ongoing campaign, featuring largely for the club’s U-23 side at the Premier League 2 level. 

Harper would add more variety to the Celtic midfield

Celtic aren’t really short of cover in the central midfield department, with plenty of players vying for places in the ranks at Parkhead. Lennon has rotated between Ryan Christie, David Turnbull and Tom Rogic in the No.10 role behind the striker, leaving Callum McGregor and Scott Brown to shoulder the responsibilities of operating in the double pivot. 

McGregor has continued to excel as a regular starter week in week out for the Hoops but Brown has often struggled for consistency this season. Soro has made a positive impression in recent fixtures, with Lennon handing the youngster a taste of senior football to offer the veteran a breather. Considering that Olivier Ntcham has fared well below expectations this term, Celtic shouldn’t hesitate to freshen up their midfield options in January. 

Harper is yet to make a single appearance for West Brom this season (Getty Images)

Putting things into context, Rekeem Harper ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door as an exciting addition to Celtic’s midfield. The energetic and hardworking box-to-box enforcer would add some much-needed young blood to the squad while offering Lennon more depth and quality to work with heading into the crucial second half of the campaign.

Read More

Verdict

Despite his lack of game time at West Brom, Rekeem Harper remains a quality young player with plenty of room for development. With fixtures set to come thick and fast in the following months, Celtic’s squad depth will surely be tested.

The inclusion of a talented starlet like Harper would be a smart piece of business in the winter market. Having said that, this looks like a deal that could work out well for all parties involved.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

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

Forget it Lampard – Chelsea offloading this fantastic 29-year-old star wouldn’t be a wise choice

Wolves signing this 28-year-old Portuguese star would be a useful addition to their attack